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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Aug. 25, 202005:00 PM EST

JEA plans to put 1,200 acres of former St. Johns River Power Park on global market

The city-owned utility met with JaxPort officials twice in August about the site.
by: Mike Mendenhall Associate Editor

JEA is coordinating with JaxPort leadership to solicit international interest in redeveloping about 1,200 acres of the former St. Johns River Power Park in North Jacksonville, according to Paul McElroy, interim CEO of the utility.

City-owned JEA plans to issue a request for qualifications in six to eight weeks for the site of the decommissioned coal-fired electric generating plant, McElroy told JEA board members at their Aug. 25 meeting.

“We’re working with the port so we can go to the global marketplace and look through an RFQ process for a partner that has a global presence, is looking to invest a significant amount of money and help us grow this great opportunity with the highest-and-best use for Jacksonville,” McElroy said.

McElroy characterized the property as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” and “prime” for use in the maritime sector, although JEA Director of Economic Development Jordan Pope said via email Aug. 25 that the utility’s goal is to find the highest and best use for the site.

“The goal of the proposed RFQ is to seek information and qualifications for companies interested in SJRPP redevelopment and will be issued in accordance with JEA procurement policies,” Pope said.

The property is northwest of JaxPort’s Blount Island Terminal and near the St. Johns River.

"This is a preliminary idea by JEA so we have not developed any details regarding the property or any proposal," said Robert Peek, JaxPort director and general manager of business development.

Pope said JEA has not determined if the utility will sell, lease or retain an interest in the land marketed in the RFQ.

Officials from JEA and JaxPort met virtually Aug. 10 and Aug. 20 to discuss site redevelopment, Pope said.

Pope said JEA plans to retain a portion of the 1,600-acre former power park for future power generation facilities, “but would unlikely be involved in operations as a result of redevelopment.”

JEA completed implosions of the decommissioned 1,264-megawatt generating plant in July 2019.

The St. Johns River Power Park started producing electricity in March 1987. The plant, co-owned by JEA and Florida Power & Light Co., was shut down Jan. 5, 2018.

JEA said closing the plant, which consumed 4.5 million tons of coal a year, reduced its carbon footprint by 30%. 



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