Three of the utility’s McIntosh units are being removed to make way for a natural-gas reciprocating engine plant.
Heavy rains around Lake Parker broke long enough Monday afternoon to let a line of officials shovel soil at a ceremony marking the beginning of construction of Lakeland Electric’s $155 million “next generation” power plant.
In a case of good timing, the city of Lakeland needs somebody to demolish three shuttered power plants at a time when prices for recycled scrap metal have been rising. As a result, the city will net $1.2 million under a pending contract to raze and remove three shuttered Lakeland Electric plants on Lake Parker.
Lakeland Electric has negotiated with Orlando Utilities Commission to fill any gaps in the power supply after it shutters the coal-burning McIntosh 3 plant at the end of March and before expected new generation comes online in 2023.
Lakeland Electric plans to shut down its coal-burning McIntosh Unit 3 power plant around March 31, more than three years earlier than its previously anticipated fall 2024 closing. The plant closure will affect about 60 jobs, a utility spokeswoman said, noting that laid-off employees will get severance packages and help finding other jobs.