Coal Plant Process Begins

It’s full speed ahead as the coal fired power plant project for Taylor County begins the permitting process, but some say, not so fast. It’s not a done deal.

The Taylor Energy Center has begun the permitting process for a proposed coal-fueled power plant, by filing with the Florida Public Service Commission.

"I'm glad they've finally gotten things started,” said Taylor County Resident Cheryl Sprague. “We're spreading all over, we need this, we really do. People need to stop and think that we need this as a community."

However, it’s still a long road to the projected 2012 in-service date and there could be some bumps along the way.

The Public Service Commission has to first determine whether there is a need for the 800-megawatt power plant.

The next step is to file an application with the Department of Environmental Protection. Then, that has to be reviewed by other state agencies.

Plus, the purchase and sale agreement have yet to be finalized.

Opponents say they will use those opportunities to continue their fight against the coal plant.

Diane Whitfield, who is opposed to the coal plant construction says, "Until the smoke stacks get built 700 feet up in the air and there starts being emitted carbon dioxide and mercury and other things, I will not give up. Even then, I'll be watching and monitoring the emissions from that plant, the proposed plant."

The entire permitting phase is expected to take about two years.