Oil Spill Poses Risk to Gulf Power Plants
Electricity facilities on the Gulf coast rely heavily on water and are taking steps to protect the plants should the oil come their way.
Progress Energy spokesman Scott Sutton emphasized that the current forecasts are for the strong loop current to carry oil south and away from its facilities in central Florida. But given the unpredictable Gulf weather, the size of the spill and electricity plant reliance on water, Progress has a team of environmental and systems experts meeting daily to track the spill’s progress and plan how to protect its power stations.
“We can’t wait until we physically see oil and say, ‘What do we do now?’ ” Sutton said. “It would take a pretty severe wind storm to push it this way, but obviously, anything weather-dependent is pretty unpredictable.”
All power plants that use steam to turn turbines to produce electricity rely