The volatility of oil-producing regions in the world coupled with the greater availability of natural gas in the United States has prompted electric utility companies to replace oil-burning power plants with cleaner and more efficient facilities that are fueled by natural gas.
In June 2011, FPL, Florida’s largest electric utility, demolished a 50-year-old oil-burning electric plant in Riviera Beach, FL, and started construction on a state-of-the-art $1.3 billion natural gas power plant.
Immediately after the former facility was dynamited to rubble, crews of workers operating heavy equipment began the three-year process of site clearing and construction of a new 1,250-megawatt facility.
More than 950 people, including heavy equipment operators, electricians, welders, pipefitters and carpenters worked on the jobsite during the construction operations.
For site clearing and demolition, track skid steers, loaders, dozers, and excavators with hammers and hydraulic grapples were used to clear piles of concrete, metal and other debris, and to level the ground for the new facility.
Underground electric contractors used mini-excavators to trench, all-terrain reach forklifts to move and position material, and 40-, 60- and 80-foot boom lifts to install lighting, electrical systems, and substation infrastructure.
Concrete contractors used forklifts to move pallets of concrete and forms around the job site.
Other equipment used during construction included air compressors, welders, light towers and generators. Contractors drove utility carts about the 39-acre job site to monitor and guide construction progress.
The project progressed rapidly as contractors worked seven days a week to meet the power company’s deadline. It was critical for FPL plug the new power plant into its system to serve more than 250,000 homes and businesses in South Florida.
Completed in 2014, the power plant now serves South Florida customers with reliable electricity with 50 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions.
To meet the equipment and service needs of the contractors, sales representatives, drivers and mechanics from the Riviera Beach Neff Rental branch, which is located two miles from the job site, were on call 24/7 to respond to customers’ calls, deliver ready-to-operate equipment, as well as to make repairs when needed.
When planning to build an electric utility power generation plant, bring in a Neff Rental equipment specialist early in the process to help budget your equipment rental costs, and map a strategy for equipment needs across all construction phases. Your local Neff Rental branch can be reached at 888-709-NEFF, or online at www.NeffRental.com.