TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida Power & Light has announced plans to build a $1.2 billion natural-gas plant on company-owned land in northeastern Okeechobee County.

The company, projecting the new plant to be operational by mid-2019, intends to file the paperwork seeking regulatory approval “in the coming months,” according to a release last week from FPL. The project will need to be reviewed by the state Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Public Service Commission and other county, state and federal government agencies.

The power company, in the release, linked the plans for the new inland plant with three solar-power facilities expected to come on line by the end of 2016.

“We’re building on our successful strategy of phasing out older, inefficient facilities and replacing them with advanced, high-efficiency clean-energy technology in a way that ensures we can meet the growing energy needs of Floridians while keeping their electric rates low,” Eric Silagy, president and chief executive officer of FPL, said in a prepared statement.

The plant in Okeechobee County would provide up to 1,600 megawatts of power, enough to serve 300,000 homes, according to FPL projections.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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