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Anclote Power Plant, Holiday, Florida

Located in Holiday, Florida, the Anclote Power Plant originally used coal to heat water into steam, which in turn powered electricity-generating turbines. In 2006, the plant announced plans to switch to burning oil in an attempt to cut back on harmful emissions. The plant, which has been in operation since 1974, currently emits 1,011 megawatts of electricity.

Unfortunately, environmentalist groups have long been concerned about the Anclote Power Plant’s impact on the environment. When the plant was still powered by coal, it released a variety of potentially dangerous byproducts into the air, including greenhouse gases and mercury. Even though the plant has switched to oil, some parties remain concerned about its emissions. The plant’s owner, Progress Energy, has announced plans to continue reducing the plant’s environmental impact.

Oil-Burning Plants and the Environment

In some ways, burning natural oil to produce electricity is cleaner than burning coal. However, the use of oil as a source of power also has its drawbacks. For example, like coal, oil must be extracted from the ground and shipped to plants, a lengthy process that can potentially harm the environment. Oil also produces byproducts when burned, which can include nitrogen oxides and heavy metals.

In addition, the power plants themselves may contain dangerous materials such as asbestos, especially if they were constructed before asbestos regulations went into effect in 1987. Before these regulations were developed, many power plants contained cement, sheet metal, and insulation made from asbestos, a highly dangerous mineral. Anyone who worked on or lived near a power plant during this time period should be aware of the potential risks of asbestos exposure.

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