A power plant that has been a part of Fort Lauderdale's skyline for more than 50 years was demolished Tuesday morning.
Florida Power & Light Company used dynamite to take down the four 350-foot candy-cane-striped stacks and four 7,500-ton boilers at the Port Everglades plant.
"An iconic figure within the South Florida landscape is gone, but in its place will be a better, more efficient, clean air power plant," FPL spokesman Bill Orlove said.
The demolition took about 60 seconds and was the largest power plant demolition in Florida's history, according to the company.
"It was amazing," said Julia Dale, the 12-year-old who sang the National Anthem before the blast and is famous for singing The Star Spangled Banner at Heat games. "It all just happened so quickly, it's crazy."
The plant is being demolished to make way for a new, cleaner energy center powered by American natural gas. The new facility that will be 35 percent more efficient and use less fuel.
"We know that it will take less fuel so that's less cost for our customers," said Orlove.
The facility will provide energy for 260,000 customers and save customers $400 million over the life of the plant, FPL said.
"This is an opportunity for FPL to bring new technology to South Florida," said Eric Silagy, President of FPL. He said it would create a "much cleaner emissions profile."
Silagy said it's a $1.2 billion investment that would create 650 new construction site jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs throughout the community.
Construction on the new center will begin in 2014 and is expected to begin serving customers in 2016.
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