JEA board OKs plan to close 848-MW coal-fired unit, enter PPA with FPL

In a special meeting, the board of directors of Florida public power utility JEA last week unanimously approved a transaction that will lead to the closure of Plant Scherer, Unit 4, and entering into a 20-year purchase power agreement with investor-owned Florida Power & Light Company.

JEA and FPL have jointly owned Plant Scherer, Unit 4, an 848 MW coal-fired electric generating unit since 1989. The plant is located near Macon, Ga., and operated by the Georgia Power Company. JEA's portion is 198 MW. 

JEA on June 26 said that by replacing power from Plant Scherer, Unit 4, and entering into this agreement, JEA will lower operating costs, substantially reduce operating risks, and reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 1.3 million tons per year.

The transaction also provides a pathway to significant expansion of solar energy in the near future, JEA noted.

“This has been a successful mutually beneficial partnership and is just one of such joint asset ownership and operating agreements between JEA and FPL, including the St. Johns River Power Park and 500 kv transmission lines,” said Paul McElroy, JEA interim CEO and Managing Director. 

“While the past several years have presented challenges and difficult circumstances, with the JEA sale process over and behind us, the time is right to focus on future operating partnerships. We continue to create value for both utilities and extend our strong operating relationship with FPL.” 

The effective date of transaction(s) are/is expected to be no later than January 1, 2022.