Lights Go Out for Kissimmee’s Historic Power Plant

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., September 30, 5:00 p.m. – The eight diesel generators that served generations of Kissimmee residents fell silent today after an official decommissioning ceremony hosted by Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA).

Built on the northwestern shore of Lake Tohopekaliga in 1901, the Roy E. Hansel Generating Station produced electricity continuously for 104 years.

“Today is this plant’s last in commissioned service,” KUA president and general manager Jim Welsh said at today’s ceremony. “For 104 years she has performed with remarkable distinction.”

At just after 12:00 noon today an electrical switch was pulled which powered down the generators — forever. The decommissioning honors went to Welsh, KUA chairman Nancy Gemskie and two daughters of Roy Hansel in whom the plant is named.

“This plant has built an extraordinary record of achievement because it possessed one exceptional asset: generations of operators who were willing to do what it took to keep the lights on in Kissimmee,” said Welsh. “And for that, they deserve our profound thanks.”

The KUA board of directors authorized the decommissioning of the units in February because they were no longer economical to operate. The historic building and adjacent property will be returned to the city of Kissimmee for future development.

A separate 50-megawatt (MW) combined cycle plant and related facilities will continue to operate at the southern end of the Hansel site until its scheduled retirement date in 2013.

Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.

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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-7777 x 1116
cgent@kua.com