End of an Era: KUA to Decommission Historic Power Plant

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., February 23, 9:30 a.m. – After decades of lighting, cooling and powering the homes and businesses of Osceola County, the diesel generators at Kissimmee Utility Authority’s Roy E. Hansel Generating Station will fall silent on October 1.

The KUA board of directors on Wednesday morning authorized the decommissioning of eight diesel units at the utility’s downtown Kissimmee power plant because they are no longer economical to operate. The units earmarked for shutdown range in age from 22 to 45 years old and have a total generating capacity of 18 megawatts (MW).

The oldest unit, Unit No. 8, began operation in 1960. Five additional units (Units No. 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18) began operation in 1972. Units No. 19 and 20 were added in 1983. All the units are fueled by natural gas or No. 2 fuel oil.

A separate 50 MW combined cycle plant (made up of Units 21, 22 and 23) and related facilities will continue to operate at the Hansel site until its scheduled retirement date in 2013.

“This decommissioning marks the end of an era,” said KUA president and general manager Jim Welsh. “These diesel units helped to form the city of Kissimmee and mold a way of life for its citizens.”

The generators are housed inside a historic brick building in downtown Kissimmee where electricity has been produced continuously by the utility since 1901. The vacated building and adjacent property may be returned to the city of Kissimmee for future development.

The retirement of these units will have no effect on reliability of service for KUA customers. Because of attrition, no utility employees will be impacted by the retirement of the units.

Decommissioning and site clean-up is set to begin sometime after October 1 and will take approximately six months to complete.

In addition to the Hansel facility, KUA operates the 1,027-acre Cane Island Power Park in Intercession City. The facility houses three generating units that produce a combined 410 MW. The plant is jointly owned by KUA and Orlando-based Florida Municipal Power Agency.

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

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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-7777 x 1116