JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It’s the end of an era for JEA. One of the largest power park’s in the country has been demolished in North Jacksonville.
“There were so many employees that kept this power plant running successfully, safely for so many years, since the 80’s,” JEA Spokesperson Gina Kyle said. “It’s a bittersweet but exciting day.”
The St. Johns River Power Park was built in the 1980’s. It took years to construct and led to hundreds of jobs.
JEA announced their plans to demolish the plant in 2018. They said it would save money and protect the environment. By shutting down the facility, JEA said it has reduced the utilities carbon footprint by about 30%.
Action News Jax had live team coverage for the first implosion in June 2018. This is when the iconic twin cooling towers fell to the ground.
About ten months later, the same company brought down the catalytic reactors and large structures.
Thursday, Action News Jax watched two boilers and the stack crumble live at 8 a.m. Neighbors said they could hear it from their homes. Some asked not to be identified.
“I heard a loud explosion and it just went boom,” he said. “It sort of startled me but I recognized that it was from the explosion and demolition of the JEA plant.”
Each boiler was 240 feet. JEA said it was used to convert chemical energy into thermodynamic energy. The 640 foot stack would release the boiler combustion high enough in the air to dilute the gas.
“This took probably two months to prepare,” Frank Bodami said. He is the owner of the demolition company, Total Wrecking and Environmental. “Approximately 50 people on the site. The stack has two inner stacks inside, so it’s essentially three stacks.”
JEA said it plans to keep 100 acres of the 2,000 acres property.
“We’ll continue to go through the decommissioning process, meaning we’ll redevelopment the land,” Kyle said. “What’s coming next is still yet to be determined.”
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