FLORIDA CITY, Fla., May 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today formally presented its plan to safely remove hypersaline water – or water with levels of salinity that surpass ocean water – near the cooling canal system at the Turkey Point Power Plant complex. The advanced 3-D groundwater modeling, developed in consultation with Miami-Dade County's Department of Environmental Resource Management (DERM), confirms that the scientific approach will immediately begin the removal of hypersaline water and demonstrates the successful retraction of the saltwater plume back to the cooling canal system within ten years.
"We are committed to eliminating our contribution to the high concentration of saltwater in the Biscayne aquifer," said Randy LaBauve, FPL Vice President of Environmental Services. "The data-driven methodical plan demonstrates our ability to move the hypersaline plume back in an environmentally responsible manner and reverse a situation compounded by numerous environmental factors, including historically low levels of rainfall in 2014 and 2015."
FPL scientists and engineers submitted the in-depth plan to DERM, Florida's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the South Florida Water Management District on Monday. The proposal is anticipated to meet the requirements set forth by the county to rectify the salinity issues associated with the cooling canal system. FPL has shared earlier versions of its strategy with DERM and DEP, as well as environmental organizations, elected officials, and members of the public during a series of meetings that have been held at multiple locations throughout Miami-Dade and Monroe counties over the past several weeks.
If approved by county and state regulatory agencies, FPL will immediately begin the implementation of its plan. The Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) surveys conducted by helicopter have enabled scientists from FPL and other organizations to precisely identify the location of hypersaline groundwater and to develop detailed plans for its safe removal.
In addition to its long-term strategy to draw back the saltwater to the boundaries of Turkey Point, FPL will soon begin utilizing brackish water to maintain optimal salinity levels in the cooling canals. This system, which has been approved by the state of Florida's Siting Board and Department of Environmental Protection, will maintain the on-going health of the canals and reduce future contributions to hyper salinity in the aquifer.
FPL's Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant continues to safely operate as it has over the past 40 years, generating zero-carbon energy to power hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in a county that typically imports half of its electricity from outside the county during peak summer electricity use times, underscoring the importance of Turkey Point to a thriving Miami-Dade County. The recent hyper-salinity issue involving the cooling canal system has not had any adverse impact to drinking water, safety or public health. There is not now, nor will there be, any lasting adverse impact on Biscayne Bay. As demonstrated by today's meetings, FPL continues to work openly and proactively with local, state and federal authorities to ensure all safety and environmental issues are continuously addressed. Our proposed long-term solutions will ensure the canals operate sustainably now and for years to come.
For more information, visit FPL's educational website: www.TurkeyPointFacts.com.
About Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving more than 4.8 million customer accounts or more than 10 million people across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30 percent lower than the latest national average and, in 2015, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the sixth year in a row. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company was recognized in 2015 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,800 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune's 2016 list of "World's Most Admired Companies." NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
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SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company