Decommissioned North Jacksonville plant imploded.
Within 12 seconds, the St. Johns River Power Park's two 464-foot-tall cooling towers were reduced to a pile of concrete and steel.
The decommissioned 1,264-megawatt coal-fired electric generating plant in North Jacksonville, co-owned by JEA and Florida Power & Light Co., was imploded at 8 a.m. Saturday.
The ceremony before the implosion was a reunion for many former employees of the power park, which started generating electricity in 1987.
Also in attendance were JEA and FPL officials, state Sen. Aaron Bean, current council members and former Jacksonville Mayor Jake Godbold, a key figure the building of the plant.
Melissa Dykes, JEA president and chief operating officer, said that when the plant was built 35 years ago, oil and gas prices were high, so the utility turned to coal. She said today there are cheaper, less expensive and cleaner forms of energy.
JEA said closing the plant reduced its carbon footprint by 30 percent.
Before the implosion, Total Wrecking & Environmental LLC, the demolition contractor, partnered with nonprofit Dreams Come True, to auction the privilege to "Push the Plunger" and ignite the implosion.
The charity said it raised $11,800, enough to fulfill the dreams of two local children and their families.
David Mahon won the auction and his son, Brian, pushed the plunger.
As for the future of the 1,600-acre power park property, there are no plans yet, Dykes said.
"It is a magnificent piece of property," she said.
JEA spokeswoman Gerri Boyce said it will take another 18 months to decommission the plant. At that time, JEA will take sole ownership of the property.
She said consideration of the future property use has not been decided. Studies have not been done to evaluate the best future use of the property.
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