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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Standing tall at Port Everglades for 50 years, it took just about 40 seconds for Florida Power and Light’s four iconic red and white striped smoke stacks to fall.

Using approximately 450 pounds of the explosives on each tower, Contract Drilling and Blasting brought down the four 350 foot tall stacks just after 6:45 a.m.

Watch the amazing web video extra of the implosion by clicking the video link below.

Julia Dale, who sang the National Anthem at every Miami Heat home playoff game last season and became knows as their good luck charm, watched the stacks fall one by one.

“It was almost like a groundbreaking sound, it was crazy, I didn’t know what to expect so when I saw what happened it was just a feeling of excitement,” said Dale

The stacks, and the existing power plant which ran mainly on imported oil and emitted sulfur dioxide, were demolished to make way for a new clean energy center that will run on low cost natural gas.

“It uses 35 percent less fuel and produces more electricity that helps keep our customer’s bills low and every dollar we save is passed onto our customers,” said FPL spokeswoman Marie Bertot.

“It’s an opportunity for us to invest not just in Florida and America in our fight to be more energy independent and reduce our consumption of foreign oil,” said FPL President Eric Silagy.

FPL said when up and running in 2016 the new energy center will generate up to 1,280 megawatts of power or enough electricity for about 260,000 FPL customers. The project will use the same land footprint and existing infrastructure, including electric transmission facilities and cooling water system which will save on costs.

“This natural gas plant will save customers a lot of money, this plant will save over $400 million dollars in fuel costs,” said FPL’s Buck Martinez.

The company estimates that construction of the new plant will create 650 direct jobs at its peak and more than a thousand indirect jobs.


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