Possible Nuclear Plant? Gulf Power Continues To Buy North Escambia Property

June 11, 2009


Gulf Power Company continues to purchase land in North Escambia for a possible power generation site — maybe even a nuclear plant.

The electric utility has spent over $2.1 million to date to purchase about 550 acres in the Cox and Roach Road areas and another 55 acres nearby along the Escambia River.

In March, NorthEscambia.com was the first to report that Gulf Power was purchasing land in the area, beginning with about 100 acres for $400,000 in the 200 block of Roach Road. Since then, Gulf Power has purchased lots as small as 1.89 acres on Cox Road for $145,000 to a 308 acre parcel for $1 million on Holland Road.

“We are looking for property to purchase in that area for a generating facility,” Gulf Power Company Manager of Public Affairs Sandy Sims told NorthEsambia.com in March. “What kind of generating facility it will be has not been determined at this point.”

When asked about the rumors that the plant could be a nuclear power plant, Sims replied, “We can’t rule anything out at this point. We are looking at a diverse portfolio of options for the future.”

Sims said the plant could be nuclear, natural gas powered or even an advanced technology like wind or solar. “We really can’t rule out any possibility right now.”

Whatever the type of power generation facility, the earliest it would likely produce its first kilowatt of electricity would be the year 2020, and perhaps as late as 2025.

The property purchased on Roach Road and the offers to purchase other land in the area does not necessarily mean that anything will ever be constructed on the land by Gulf Power, Sims said. The new facility that might be located near McDavid would presumably at least partially replace the coal powered Gulf Power Crist Plant in Pensacola, she said.

Gulf Power purchases in the area, according to records on file with Escambia County’s property appraiser and tax collector, include (numbers below correspond to the map above, click map to enlarge):

  1. 308 acres off Holland Road (where Cox Road formerly ran) from the Estes Estate, $1,000,000
  2. 55 acres in two parcels near Courtney Road, including access to the Escambia River, from Campbell Partners, $202,380
  3. 1.89 acres at 1570 Cox Road from Jonathan and Aimee Cabral, $145,000
  4. 62 acres near the north end of Cox Road, between Cox and Camp roads, from Alex Davis of Pensacola, $248,000
  5. 33 acres just south of 1570 Cox Road from Jean McCurdy Roose of Arizona, $117,250
  6. 20 acres west of Roose parcel with just a small access to Cox Road, from Wesley and Victoria Henderson of Cantonment, $90,000
  7. 100 acres in two parcels in the 200 block of Roach Road, $400,000

Area residents tell NorthEscambia.com that a Gulf Power representative has gone door to door along Cox, Holland and Roach roads telling residents that Gulf Power wants to purchase their property for a possible nuclear power plant. Many types of power plants would need access to water, perhaps adding some significance to the purchase of the property with river access off Courntey Road.

Sims would not confirm how many acres the utility was looking to purchase, but she did confirm that the company’s land acquisition department did make contact with a  resident we spoke with near the intersection of Cox Road and Bratt Road — over 3 miles from the river purchase.

Pictured top: Gulf Power land purchases in NorthEscambia.com Pictured below: The first land purchased by Gulf Power on Roach Road. NorthEscambia.com graphic and file photo, click to enlarge.



24 Responses to “Possible Nuclear Plant? Gulf Power Continues To Buy North Escambia Property”

  1. royce henley jr on January 3rd, 2011 9:21 pm

    We need jobs like this in the panhandle . I my self have worked in the Nuclear power industry . It is a clean source of energy and we need more of it.

  2. Robert Miller on December 23rd, 2009 10:14 am

    gulf power is buying all that land. a few years ago they came to my home saying we are RECLAIMING our 100 ft. right of way. they removed 11 trees, then paid an planted 7 others. now after 23+ years my home is in the right of way. why didn’t they say anything before? now they want tocut down the same trees they agreed on.[verbal contract]. I tried to sell my home before,[3 yr. ago $150,000.] why not buy it now. instead of distroying my yard an home again? that may remove any health or safety issues also with new power lines right outside my bedroom window. Raleigh Circle Pensacola Fl.

  3. David Huie Green on June 15th, 2009 11:28 pm

    “But, I still don’t understand why they couldn’t have chosen a site further south…in the middle of timberland, piped their water to the site…there are pipelines everywhere….and allow the people to remain in their homes. Some of the people who are being forced from their homes are elderly, not in good health and it is devastating to them.”

    None are being forced to sell or move.
    There is no eminent domain in play here.
    If enough sell to make it possible, they may put a plant there.
    As to location, population center is moving north.
    Power can be sent a great distance with little loss.
    President Obama is talking about national power grid; may even sell power to distant states.
    By 2020 it may be in the middle of population served.

    Location: high and dry, firm foundation, away from brunt of storms, low present population density. Don’t even have to cool with water although that is better than air cooling.

  4. oldtimer losing neighbors on June 14th, 2009 5:55 pm

    I know it will bring job opportunities to many and Lord only knows there are people in need of work. But, I still don’t understand why they couldn’t have chosen a site further south…in the middle of timberland, piped their water to the site…there are pipelines everywhere….and allow the people to remain in their homes. Some of the people who are being forced from their homes are elderly, not in good health and it is devastating to them. Some, perhaps younger are greatful for an opportunity for a new begining. My heart just feels for those who are being forced to leave their home and land that they put their life’s blood, sweat and tears into…struggled as they brough their kids into the world and just would like to spend the rest of their days in a place they have come to love, a place called home! I know, water under the bridge…but that’s how I feel!

  5. Johnnie Odom on June 13th, 2009 1:11 pm

    My mother and sister both used to work at the Heysham Nuclear Power Station near Lancaster, England. That plant has two reactors and manages to generate about a quarter of England’s power. Yet it somehow manages to blend in with the beautiful countryside around it and even integrates into the environment nicely as its cooling waters are drawn from Morecambe Bay.

    You can read about the Heysham plant on Wikipedia:

    Nuclear power is one of the cleanest, safest sources of energy available, provided that it is properly regulated (as it has been in Europe for decades). I would be extremely happy to have a nuclear power plant in Escambia County, particularly if it replaced the outdated and over-polluting Crist coal plant.

  6. Local Yokel on June 12th, 2009 9:02 pm

    Nope- I don’t like it- not at all… the nuke, that is- solar, geothermal, or wind [we have a turbine-production facility off Scenic Hwy] would be just fine- no need to bring any more hazards to this area for short-term gain…

  7. Pipewelder86 on June 12th, 2009 8:27 pm

    Yeah Come on Gulf Power bring it

  8. David Huie Green on June 12th, 2009 7:54 pm

    “As Three Mile Island and Chernobyl taught us any type of malfunction at these facilities can be catastrophic, especially in our area”

    three Mile Island was a financial disaster but nobody was hurt. this type of reactor is designed to melt the materials around it and kill the reaction in case o loss of coolant and it did as it was designed to do.

    Chernobyl was a graphite moderated reactor and the graphite does not melt and did catch fire when the operators drained the coolant to see what would happen. This type is not used in power reactors in the usa.

    Smart people can do foolish things. Not having a dependable source of domestic power would be foolish.

  9. David Huie Green on June 12th, 2009 7:48 pm

    “Who/how do we contact if we want to sell our land that adjoins some of these parcels?”

    Gulf Power Company Manager of Public Affairs Sandy Sims might be able to help

  10. Sylvia Godwin on June 12th, 2009 7:30 am

    I remember when they started talking about putting a correctional facility here, and lot of people got so upset, and opposed it. You know the funny thing? Some of the people who opposed it today has family working there. It created jobs for quiet a few people, which I am thankful for. Come on Gulf Power, you will have people lined up on your doorsteps waiting for a job. If I was young again I would be the leader of the pack.

  11. windy on June 12th, 2009 7:26 am

    Marie,—-No one has came to the door to buy our land, I wonder how much they want, and how far out in the area are they looking to buy?

  12. Marie on June 11th, 2009 7:14 pm

    Who/how do we contact if we want to sell our land that adjoins some of these parcels?

  13. Beegee on June 11th, 2009 6:54 pm

    To the Slyvia Godwin that comments on a lot of things on NE.Com,are you the same sweet lady that has been visiting Tabernacle Baptist?????

  14. Frank on June 11th, 2009 3:56 pm

    Has anyone ever worked at Monsanto/Solutia? What ever they call it now? Intermediates has some of the Southeast most dangerous places, that they say, IF explode would take out everything for miles.
    IF A LEAK, COULD KILL EVERTHING for miles, IF you are in the direction the wind is blowing.

    I worked there for years and Thank God for it.

    Anyone who has worked there has known this for 40 years.
    You can NOT LIVE IN FEAR. (We have come a long way sense TMI)
    And before you ask, my family lives on both sides of were they are looking at putting this plant. I want my Grandchildren to NOT HAVE TO MOVE TO LIVE because they can’t find a Job that pays enough to support their family.

  15. John Peacock on June 11th, 2009 1:02 pm

    Sylvia, almost hate to bring up this issue but will anyway. The main reason nothing happens in this community is because there is no one directly accountable to the electorate. Whether we consolidate with the city or not our local governments need to change to the federal model of government with an executive branch and a legislative branch. The executive branch would be accountable and responsible to this community for the issues raised during their campaign. Having 5 district only commissioners makes it very difficult to do big things here. A CEO with appropriate checks and balances, given the enormous underutilized assets in this community would make a tremendously positive difference!!

  16. Hoping for a better future on June 11th, 2009 12:59 pm


    I would hope that we have learned much from the previous mistakes and would be safer. Even if we haven’t, as scary as the thought of another Chernobyl or Three Mile Island may be, the prospect of having ANY type of industry here that can provide jobs for not just my own generation, but yours too and that of our children, grandchildren and on down the line outweighs the minimal chances of there being a “meltdown”. On the whole, nuclear plants are safer than many other things in our daily lives.

    When you weigh the pros and the cons, I think we can only go in favor of the pros. The cons are practically nonexistant when compared to the possibility of a much better, much improved local area.

    I realize that you are probably more well read on this subject than most of us, but you must understand that to the majority of us, a nuclear plant is the equivalent of a white knight riding to our rescue. It’s a gamble, sure, but the payoff can be astronomic.

  17. sylvia godwin on June 11th, 2009 12:08 pm

    There is a risk in anything you do. We need something to give jobs to children and grandchildren. I am afraid to hope because about the time it would be operating I would open my eyes and realize I was just dreaming. LOL ! I am afraid to hope for anything for this area.

  18. John Peacock on June 11th, 2009 11:37 am

    You can’t compare TMI and Chernobyl. The radiation released from TMI was minimal at best. It was a significant MEDIA event which put us behind by decades in the development of nuclear energy. U.S. safeguards work.

  19. Terri Sanders on June 11th, 2009 11:16 am

    The slim chance of malfunction of a nuclear plant would be catastrophic ,none the less the impact of this plant would be far reaching with(as someone recently said) with a bazillion jobs.It is too late for any onf my children,but there are those grandchildren that will be entering the job market in the years to come. Understandably I am still disappointed that Gulf Power is not interested in purchasing in our property just off Roach Rd. After all it is 58 degrees in Colorado right now and still patches of snow in the yard of our cabin there!

  20. Travis Tedder on June 11th, 2009 10:34 am

    While the economic effects of this are obviously far-reaching and would undoubtedly be a boon to the area, as John stated, we do have to look at the possible dangers. As Three Mile Island and Chernobyl taught us any type of malfunction at these facilities can be catastrophic, especially in our area.

  21. great on June 11th, 2009 8:22 am

    This would bring many construction jobs in . Watt Bar is now being worked on in Tennessee. Maryland is also going to build one, Calvert Cliffs 3. Bechtel construction is the contractor on these jobs. Ohio U..S.A. Coal Fired Power is being build soon. There is also a new power plant being build in Lively Grove,II. Bechtel Construction has build most of the power plants.

  22. Chris Maloney on June 11th, 2009 7:46 am

    I dig it!

  23. windy on June 11th, 2009 7:08 am

    John, I agree with you.

  24. John Peacock on June 11th, 2009 6:32 am

    This would be a great thing for this community. I spent 15 years in my previous career in the Nuclear Power Industry. The average salary at those facilities is approximately 100k. The economic impact on this community with all of the peripheral businesses would be fantastic. Let’s hope Gulf Power can get this done

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