GRU has begun demolishing an old turbine stack as part of a three-year plan to decommission the John R. Kelly Turbine.
The stack, built in 1960, vented the boiler emissions for the boilers of Unit 7 and Unit 8.
John Stanton, assistant general manager of energy supply, said that the stack had become unnecessary and was a potential safety hazard.
“The deteriorating stack was serving no functional purpose and was in need of major refurbishment to withstand hurricane winds,” he said in a news release. “In addition to public safety, the cost of maintaining the stack was a significant factor in the decision to retire it.”
Tiffany Small, a GRU spokeswoman, noted that hurricane-force winds were a consideration because of Florida building codes.
“There are structural design requirements in the Florida building codes that require structures to sustain wind forces based on the area,” she wrote in an email.
The demolition contract is slated for completion by the end of August.
The next step in the demolition plan is to complete an asbestos survey and addressing the cooling tower to stabilize the facility’s safety, Small said.
Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings recently gave nod to GRU’s financial stability.
Fitch once again gave GRU an ‘AA-‘ bond rating for revenue and awarded the company’s commercial paper program with an ‘F1+’ short-term rating, according to a GRU news release.
“Improving financial projections” factored into the ratings, according to the release.
In addition, GRU established a liquidity facility from Bank of Montreal. This move is estimated to save the utility company and customers about $250,00 over the course of the three-year contract.
“As part of this transaction, Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed its rating of Aa2 on GRU’s variable rate utilities system revenue bonds, 2008 Series B,” according to the release.