McIntosh Unit 2 will be pulled down with cables this afternoon. | Lakeland Electric

Unit 2 of Lakeland Electric’s decommissioned McIntosh power plant came tumbling down at 5:40 p.m. Wednesday. Crews set up at the site along Lake Parker had to wait for an afternoon storm to pass, but were able to bring down the structure without incident.

Lakeland Electric spokeswoman Cathryn Lacy said the demolition, originally set for Friday, was moved ahead of schedule. Unlike previous demolitions that involved explosives, Unit 2 was “pulled over with cables into a cleared space on the property.”

Traffic did not have to be rerouted for this phase. “It is happening within the footprint of the power plant,” Lacy said.

Video provided by Lakeland Electric

McIntosh 3, the utility’s last coal-fired plant, was shut down in 2021 after repairs at the site became costly and Lakeland Electric sought to rid its coal reserves.

The city engaged Total Wrecking & Environmental to demolish McIntosh units 1, 2 and 3 and then sell parts and scrap metal. The city of Lakeland expects to net $1.2 million from its share of the sales.

After the toppling of Unit 2, two more milestones of demolition will remain — removal of the coal conveyor, which crosses over East Lake Parker Drive, and elimination of the water tower.

The conveyor is tentatively scheduled to come down on July 15, Lacy said.

The removal project is making way for a reciprocal engine natural-gas plant that represents Lakeland Electric’s next generation of power generation.

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Cindy Glover moved to Lakeland in 2021 after spending two decades in South Florida. Her career has included journalism, education, digital marketing and public relations. She worked for the Albuquerque Journal and South Florida Sun-Sentinel and spent a year as a community engagement coordinator for the City of Lakeland before joining LkldNow.

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