Cutting-edge environmental modeling confirms FPL plan to improve groundwater salinity near Turkey Point's cooling canal system
- New, advanced modeling indicates FPL's plan to remove hypersaline water will improve groundwater quality
- Long-term solutions to meet standards and improve conditions continue to move forward
Apr 29, 2016, 04:07 ET
FLORIDA CITY, Fla., April 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today announced that advanced three-dimensional modeling supports its long-term plan to remove hypersaline water from underneath and near the cooling canal system at the Turkey Point Power Plant complex.
The modeling, which incorporates data from airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveys conducted by helicopter, enables scientists from FPL and other organizations to more accurately identify the location of hypersaline groundwater and to develop additional plans for its removal.
FPL's plan is based upon data collected from dozens of monitoring stations, state-of-the-art groundwater mapping technology, detailed 3-D modeling of groundwater and a comprehensive review and analysis of technical data by independent experts. The plan includes the safe removal of hypersaline groundwater from the shallow Biscayne aquifer.
"We have been consistent in our position that we need to follow the science, not the politics," said Randy LaBauve, FPL Vice President of Environmental Services. "A data-driven, science-based approach ensures that we're taking the right actions at the right time to improve the situation. While it will take time to reverse the hypersaline plume in an environmentally responsible manner, this new data will help us achieve faster results and allow us to leverage the progress we are already making."
In addition to the plan to remove hypersaline water, FPL is using brackish water from the Floridan aquifer in the cooling canal system to help keep salt levels in the cooling canals in balance with the salinity of Biscayne Bay. This system, which has been approved by the state of Florida's Siting Board and Department of Environmental Protection, is expected to commence operations this summer and be fully operational by year's end.
The approval of the Floridan aquifer system contributed to FPL's ability to forego water withdrawals from the L-31 canal, a decision that was supported by environmental groups, such as Audubon Florida, and other stakeholders.
"We look forward to continuing to work with key stakeholders – including Miami Dade County, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and South Florida Water Management District, as well as environmental organizations – in improving the cooling canal system and surrounding area," said LaBauve.
FPL's Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant continues to operate safely as it has for more than 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. The recent water quality challenges involving the cooling canal system do not impact the safety of the plant or public health.
For more information, visit FPL's educational website, www.TurkeyPointFacts.com.
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
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