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Water managers divert billions of gallons from Lake O to Martin County FPL facility

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In response to the toxic algae blooms emergency on Florida’s coastline and waterways, billions of gallons of Lake Okeechobee water are now being diverted to the Florida Power and Light Clean Energy Center in Martin County.

The plant serves hundreds of thousands of homes, using primarily natural gas and solar, reports LobbyTools.

Located in Indiantown, the facility holds a 6800-acre reservoir as a cooling pond.

“The water is used to help cool the plant, to allow us to generate power,” said FPL spokeswoman Sarah Gatewood.

LobbyTools notes that water managers began diverting Lake Okeechobee water last week to the plant and away from coastal Martin County, which is facing a toxic algae crisis.

Gov. Rick Scott‘s executive order directed them to look for private locations to store the excess water South Florida Water Management District officials say.

The FPL cooling pond attached to the St. Lucie Canal which takes Lake Okeechobee water to the Stuart area.

“We have the ability and capacity, and so we’re happy to be able to do what we can to help,” Gatewood added.

FPL expects to take on more than 2 billion gallons a month in the pool through September.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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