The city-owned utility in Lakeland, Florida, is hoping for a quiet, profitable final couple of months of 2017 after grappling with weather-related issues, such as persistent rains and Hurricane Irma that affected both the operation and profitability of its 365-megawatt (MW) C.D. McIntosh coal-burning power plant.
In late spring and early summer, frequent wet, cloudy weather in supposedly “sunny Florida” held down Lakeland’s generation load, forcing Lakeland Electric for a time to run only one coal train instead of the customary two. The municipal electric system gets steam coal from Foresight Energy’s Sugar Camp longwall mine near Akin in Franklin County, Illinois, and Copper Glo Mining’s undeground mine in Claiborne County, Tennessee. Foresight is supplying 1.365 million tons to Lakeland over the next three years while Copper Glo is sending 150,000 tons to the municipality this year.