Tampa-based Seminole Electric Cooperative, a major electricity supplier in the state, has canceled plans to build a new coal-fired power plant at its generation facility in Palatka in Putnam County.
Spokesman Jeff Fela said the 750-megawatt plant was first proposed in 2006 and expected to begin operation in 2016. The co-op filed papers this week with the state dropping the plan because of regulatory and legal uncertainties over the future of coal.
Among the major issues unresolved in national energy policy are climate change — given President Obama's Friday attendance at a global summit conference on the topic in Copenhagen — and the ongoing debate over carbon capture and its related costs.
Seminole Electric, which serves 10 member co-ops and reaches 1.7 million customers, still has to make up for the electricity that would have been supplied by the coal plant. The cooperative said its options range from using natural gas or nuclear power to purchasing electricity from other power producers.
The co-op is also exploring a possible solar power plant with the U.S. arm of Spain's Renovalia.