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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/NSF) — Florida Power & Light has started the process of seeking key approval from the state as it moves forward with a plan to build a natural-gas power plant in Dania Beach.

Last week, FPL filed an application with the state Department of Environmental Protection for “certification” of the site.

That is an initial step in a process that ultimately seeks approval under a state law known as the Florida Electrical Power Plant Siting Act.

The department sent the proposal to the state Division of Administrative Hearings, where an administrative law judge will be assigned to hold hearings on the application.

FPL wants to build a 1,200-megawatt plant that would replace two aging generating units on the site.

The utility also plans later this year to seek another crucial approval — known as a “determination of need” — from the Florida Public Service Commission. If FPL receives the needed approvals, the new plant is projected to begin operating in June 2022, according to the site-certification application.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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