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Jax Daily Record Friday, Jul. 19, 201909:00 AM EST

JEA implodes stack and boilers in North Jacksonville

The demolition was the third implosion toward the public utility’s decommissioning of the St. Johns River Power Park.
by: Scott Sailer Staff Writer

JEA imploded a 640-foot-tall stack and two steam generating boilers at 8 a.m. Friday at the St. Johns River Power Park in North Jacksonville.

It was the third implosion as part of decommissioning the outdated power park built in the 1980s. In June 2018, two 464-foot-tall concrete cooling towers were brought down. In April, four selective catalytic reactors were destroyed. 

The boilers converted energy from coal to heat water for steam by burning about 250 tons of coal every hour. The stack dispersed and diluted gases from the combustion.

To prepare for the implosion, Buffalo-based Total Wrecking & Environmental LLC, the demolition general contractor, and implosion engineer and explosives subcontractor Controlled Demolition Inc. drilled 890 holes in the stack.

About 925 pounds of gelatin dynamite, 7,000 linear feet of detonation cord and 1,000 detonators were used for the implosion.

The power park is scheduled for decommissioning by the end of June 2020.  JEA CEO and Managing Director Aaron Zahn previously said plans for the 2,000-acre site are undetermined, but that the utility likely will keep some of the property for a generating station and for ash disposal.

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 percent. 

Total Wrecking & Environmental was awarded a $14.5 million contract to demolish the cooling towers and other structures at the power park and remediate the site.


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