Florida Power and Light released a multi-view video on Tuesday of the weekend demolition of two, blue 150-foot-tall smokestacks and two power-generating boilers at its historic Cutler Power Plant in Palmetto Bay.
The Cutler plant, which has been inactive for more than four years, was no longer needed due to a multi-billion dollar investment that FPL has made in its Turkey Point Power Plant to develop more efficient natural-gas power plants throughout South Florida.
Located on 85 acres overlooking Biscayne Bay, the Cutler Power Plant began providing service to FPL customers in 1949 during President Harry S. Truman’s term.
The plant, which was in operation for 63 years, had a rich, little-known history:
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At one time, the plant was the largest power generator in the company’s fleet, providing enough power for 350,000 homes and employed 130 people.
Though the plant’s land was purchased in 1937, plant construction began in 1947 after World War II and was named after Dr. William C. Cutler, a prominent surgeon from Chelsea, Mass., who owned property in the once-isolated area in the 1880s.
Cutler began operating in 1949 during Harry S. Truman’s presidency. It officially closed on Nov. 30, 2012.
Cutler was one of the first outdoor power plants built in Florida, winning awards and praise for its design. The gates to the plant are restoration copies of St. Augustine’s original portals, built by the Spaniards in 1702.
The plant had six power-generation units by 1955. The two units that remain were placed on standby during the 1970s, but put back into service in 1982 to meet the area’s energy needs.
The plant made its 1961 film debut in “Chivato,” focusing on a band of American crusaders who join counter-revolutionaries in Cuba to help overthrow Fidel Castro.
The demolition comes less than a month after FPL brought down four smokestacks and boilers at its Port Everglades Power Plant to make way for a new, more fuel efficient plant that will run on clean, low-cost American natural gas. The new plant is scheduled to commence operations during 2016.
“The demolition of the Cutler Power Plant is further affirmation of FPL’s commitment to our customers to reduce our dependence on foreign oil while delivering affordable, reliable energy, generated by low-cost natural gas produced right here in the U.S.,” said FPL President Eric Silagy.