FPL Proposes Changing Hendry County Rules To Allow For Possible Power Plant

Jul 2, 2015

Credit Courtesy HendryFla.net

Note: Audio to come.

Florida Power and Light is asking to amend Hendry County's comprehensive plan. It would create a new process for approving power plants. That proposal was put before a county advisory committee Wednesday.

FPL has been eyeballing a piece of land in Hendry County as the site of a possible power plant for years. It borders the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation. Last year, the tribe won a victory in court that stopped the possibility FPL could build that plant.

FPL is asking the county to amend its comprehensive plan. Last year, a judge said the zoning FPL wanted to build its possible gas and solar plant under didn’t line up with the county’s comprehensive plan.

The amendments would include creating a new future land use category called an Electrical Generating Facility. Companies could apply to build a plant under that category.

The county advisory board heard the proposed amendments and recommended them to county commissioners.

FPL spokesperson Dave McDermitt said the amendments don’t specify what kind of a power plant that would mean. 

“This does not limit us to any particular type of power plant. It just provides the opportunity for the county to consider proposals for an electrical generating facility of any kind of fuel,” he said.

McDermitt said there is no current plan for a facility at the site, but it is a strong candidate for a future plan.

Rhonda Roff is the energy chair of the Sierra Club Calusa Group. She said the term being considered is pretty vague.

“Electrical generating could mean a lot of things,” she said. “They think it could mean gas and that’s all that’s proposed right now is gas and solar. But, if it’s under the category of electric generating it could be coal, it could be nuclear.”

Commissioners are set to take up the proposed amendments July 14.

Read the proposed amendments: