ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando Utilities Commission Tuesday approved a plan to look at the future of energy generation, including moving more into renewables and shutting down coal-fired power plants.

  • OUC approved a study on energy future Tuesday
  • Study will include possibility of shutting down coal plants
  • Study will take no more than 18 months

OUC’s board approved a plan on Tuesday that will look at ways of moving the utility to using more renewable energy.

That could include increasing the use of solar energy, and closing the two coal plants in east Orange County at the Stanton Energy Center, that are visible to drivers from the Beachline Expressway.

One homeowner says she worries about the effect the coal plants have on the air she and her children breathe.

“We love our neighbors, we love our home,” said Piper Vargas, an Avalon Park homeowner. “We don’t want to move, but it is concerning to be so close to something that could potentially have very harmful effects to us and to our children.”

Vargas, a local advocate for the national environmental group “Moms Clean Air Force,” is encouraging her neighbors to also fight for environmental improvements in local utilities. She spoke at OUC’s most recent board meeting, urging board members to consider environmental-friendly changes. 

OUC’s CEO Clint Bullock says the utility is committed to environmental concerns, but also must balance that with keeping power reliable and keeping utility rates reasonable for its consumers.

“Rates are really important for all of our customers,” said Bullock.​

Siemens Industry will develop the 20-year Electric Integrated Resource Plan over a period of no longer than 18 months. 

Currently, OUC's fuel diversity portfolio includes coal and natural gas plants, plus two solar farms and a landfill gas plant.