Tag Archives: NextEra Energy

FPL Nuclear Plant Trips Off-Line… Again!?

2 Apr
FPL St Lucie Nuke Plant on Hutchinson Island

FPL St Lucie Nuke Plant on Hutchinson Island

Unit 1 of FPL St. Lucie Nuke Plant experienced another “auto trip” earlier this month.

According to the TC Palm, everything is fine and dandy. How do they know? FPL said so. “Florida Power and Light Co. reported inspections results to the NRC Thursday at the agency’s headquarters in Rockville, Md.”

Supposedly the automatic response turned off electricity to non-nuclear equipment, which occurs when signals indicate equipment is not operating properly. But “the generators are operating safely.” Or so says FPL communications supervisor Doug Andrews.

The TC Palm article, entitled “FPL St. Lucie nuke plant inspections show steam generators safe” doesn’t quite read like news, more like an industry-generated PR piece in a County that you could easily pay off enough politicians and editors to ensure silence surrounding the potential devastation of a coastal reactor perched on the edge of a rising and warming ocean.  Continue reading

NextEra Wind Project Kills Eagle in First Month of Operation

21 Feb
As many local environmental groups have figured out, industrial-scale wind turbines are bullshit and must be fought for the fraudulent false solution they offer to the Energy Empire’s stranglehold on this culture. This week’s article below, by from ReWire, lays it out pretty clear in a case-study of NextEra’s most recent disaster in southern Cali. [See note below on NextEra and FPL.]

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Golden eagle. Photo: Michael Privorotsky/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Golden eagle. Photo: Michael Privorotsky/Flickr/Creative Commons License

ReWire has learned that the North Sky River Wind project, which attracted fierce opposition from environmental groups concerned about potential threat to eagles and California condors, was the site of a golden eagle death in January.

Ileene Anderson, who let ReWire know about the kill and is the Biologist and Wildlands Deserts Director for the Center for Biological Diversity, says that North Sky River’s developer NextEra and government agencies pushed forward with the project despite high wildlife mortality and the nearby Pine Tree wind project. Continue reading

Protect Florida panther habitat, stop another massive FPL power plant in the Everglades

21 Nov

The following are excerpts from a message sent by Matt Schwartz, Executive Director of South Florida Wildlands Association:

Until Friday, November 25th, 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is accepting comments on a plan to expand the National Wildlife Refuge System in south Florida. The proposed “Headwaters of the Everglades National Wildlife Refuge” would protect 150,000 acres of still to be identified ranch lands north of Lake Okeechobee at a price tag of 700 million dollars. The patchwork quilt of properties created would include 50,000 acres purchased outright while a conservation easement would be placed on 100,000 additional acres to prevent development. Cattle ranching would continue on 2/3 of the new refuge. Although an occasional male panther finds his way to this area, females are not as adventurous. With no breeding opportunities, the males seldom stick around. The entire proposal can be found here.

While South Florida Wildlands Association (SFWA) certainly supports the idea of protecting habitat which could someday be turned into more of the suburban sprawl for which our region has become famous, we believe there is a better and more strategic way to spend at least some of massive amounts of money the American people are being asked to invest. Last May, readers… were shocked to learn that Florida Power and Light (FPL) was considering the purchase of approximately 3000 acres of primary Florida panther habitat in the Big Cypress basin on a piece of land known as “McDaniel’s Ranch”. The property would be home to the “Hendry Next Generation Clean Energy Center” – the largest fossil fuel plant in the country. An article [here] describes the project.

FPL’s “West County Energy Center” in Loxahatchee, a virtual twin of the proposed Hendry County plant, gives an idea of what the new "Clean Energy Center" would look like.

In spite of mountains of evidence showing that this land is of the highest important for the critically endangered Florida panther and numerous other plant and animal species which share its habitat (e.g. wood storks, crested caracara, black bears, wild turkey, eastern indigo snakes, fox squirrels), FPL ultimately decided to spend $40 million dollars to purchase this property – while giving the previous owner, Eddie Garcia, a $25 million dollar profit on the $15 million dollars he invested in 2005. Vacant land prices in a state with some of the highest foreclosure rates in the country have hardly moved upwards since 2005. We have to assume that the enormous price FPL was willing to pay for this property reflected the rezoning Mr. Garcia successfully accomplished through the Hendry County Commission—converting (so far only on paper) a completely rural piece of south Florida into one of the largest industrial projects in the country.

Green areas on the map represent the network of already acquired public lands which would surround this monster sized project – the Big Cypress National Preserve to the south; Holeyland and

Map of collared male panthers in the vicinity of the proposed power plant from a recent Florida panther annual report produced by the state Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Rotenberger Wildlife Management Areas and Storm Water Treatment Areas 3, 4, 5 and 6 to the east; the Dinner Island Wildlife Management Area and the Okaloacoochee State Forest to the north and west. In addition to direct loss of habitat, a plant of this size would also dramatically increase traffic and open up the entire area to sprawl, road building, and habitat fragmentation.

While SFWA is willing to expend its limited resources aggressively fighting this project as it winds its way through the vast and complex state and federal permitting process (e.g. South Florida Water Management District, Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), there is another solution which would benefit all parties concerned—including the panther. In 2001, the Florida Forever program was established by the state legislature in order to protect dwindling wildlife habitat statewide. As stated in the Florida Forever Act of 1999:

“The continued alteration and development of Florida’s natural areas to accommodate the state’s rapidly growing population have contributed to the degradation of water resources, the fragmentation and destruction of wildlife habitats, the loss of outdoor recreation space, and the diminishment of wetlands, forests, and public beaches.”

The purpose of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to: “administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.”

The marriage between state, federal, and private interests which would be accomplished by incorporating Panther Glades (including the newly acquired FPL property) into the new Headwaters of the Everglades National Wildlife Refuge could not be better. Panther Glades has already been extensively studied for its wildlife and habitat importance. It is also a key part of the northern watershed of Big Cypress National Preserve which provides fresh, clean water to much of Everglades National Park and other public lands further south. As of May of this year, Panther Glades was ranked highest in importance of all Florida Forever “Critical Natural Lands Projects” in south Florida. In the state’s current fiscal conditions, however, Florida Forever has received zero dollars in funding from the Florida legislature. See complete report on the Panther Glades property here.

Your support for this simple request will help move this issue forward. It could even be the catalyst which drives FPL and the USFWS to hammer out a deal. With only about 100 panthers left in south Florida on habitat which continues to shrink all the time, this is an opportunity we do not want to miss. Please send an email to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before the November 25th deadline and ask them to take whatever steps are necessary to include the complete “Panther Glades” property in their new refuge.

Support for South Florida Wildlands Association can be sent here:
P.O. Box 30211
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33303

Or made online here.

Find SFWA on Facebook here

Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to finish the job started by Florida Forever over 10 years ago. Protect lands needed by the Florida panther by acquiring all of “Panther Glades” now. Submit comments by email here: EvergladesHeadwatersProposal@fws.gov

FPL Power Plant Proposal Aims for the Heart of Panther Habitat

13 May

Map of "Panther Focus Area" surrounding Hendry County power plant proposal.

By Panagioti Tsolkas, Earth First! Journal

According to a letter sent on May 2, 2011 by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, a new power plant proposal has begun the permitting process for a site located in Hendry County—primary habitat of Florida panther, considered to be one of the most endangered mammals in the world.

This proposal exemplifies, once again, the need to protect the critical habitat of remaining panthers, which has been listed as endangered for over 40 years. In February 2010, US Fish & Wildlife Service, the same agency reviewing the Hendry County power plant proposal, denied a petition seeking to designate critical habitat for the cats. A judge upheld the denial on April 6, 2011. On April 20, the Center for Biological Diversity and other conservation group filed an Appeal to the 11th Circuit Court to overturn a judge’s denial of critical habitat status. In the meantime, if projects like this power plant move forward, the point will be moot.

The details for the Hendry County plant are still trickling out, but the facility is rumored to be a massive fossil fuel power plant which would emit millions of tons in emissions and suck billions of gallons of water from the aquifer and regional wetlands. Yet, in this age of greenwash, it is of course masquerading as a solar project (as FPL has also done recently at their Barley Barber facility across Lake Okeechobee, near Indiantown, Florida).

To quote the Hendry County Planning & Zoning Department, who approved the zoning change for the development on May 11 of this week, “The applicant intends to develop the site in association with Florida Power & Light Company [FPL].” The rezone is approved for “utility uses, specifically a ‘Clean Energy Center’ which would include, but is not limited to natural gas and solar energy.” FPL already operates the two largest fossil fuel power plants in the US, all in the Everglades watershed, both within 70 miles of this site.

But the specific details of this industrial project are irrelevant, as nothing of an industrial scale is appropriate in this area. Along with panther habitat, the immediate area surrounding the site is also home to Audubon’s crested caracara, Eastern indigo snake, and Wood Stork, all federally protected endangered species. The area also provides resting, feeding, and nesting sites for a variety of migratory bird species which FWS notes “must be taken into consideration during project planning and design.”

The proposed power plant site sits on the border of the Big Cypress Reservation of the Seminole Tribe. The tribe has not yet entered comments on the project.

Click here for FWS report, including the map above.