Gulf Power Plant Crist Gets New Name With Conversion To Natural Gas

January 23, 2021

Gulf Power’s Plant Crist, which was recently converted from coal to natural gas, has been renamed Gulf Clean Energy Center.

“Plant Crist has been a powerful force in our region for 75 years, generating power that has supported our communities and sustained economic growth across the Panhandle,” said Marlene Santos, Gulf Power president. “We’re honored to be able to continue that legacy by modernizing the plant to be able to continue to serve Northwest Florida as Gulf Clean Energy Center, delivering greater reliability, lower operating costs and cleaner emissions as we meet the ever-increasing energy needs of our customers well into the future.”

Gulf Power constructed a 39-mile long natural gas pipeline through North Escambia from Century to the plant.

Converting the coal-burning units to run on natural gas is a major piece of the modernization underway at the plant, along with the addition of four new, highly efficient combustion turbines to provide greater reliability and efficiency for the energy grid. By eliminating the use of coal, Gulf Clean Energy Center carbon emission rates will be reduced by 40% — the equivalent to taking an estimated 297,000 cars off the road annually — and reduce operating costs for customers, according to Gulf Power.

North Escambia plays a key role in Gulf Power’s plans to rely more on solar energy with two solar farms on about 1,200 acres in McDavid, as first reported by

Construction will begin in the spring on the Cotton Creek Solar Energy Center in the area of Bogia Road. At 74.2 megawatts, Cotton Creek will generate enough electricity to power 15,000 homes annually, according to Gulf Power.

Gulf Power is now seeking the necessary permits for the First City Solar Energy Center in the area of Cox and Roach Roads. It will be 74.5 megawatts, also enough to power another 15,000 homes annually.

“As part of FPL, the largest generator of solar in Florida and one of the largest in the nation, we are continuing the company’s clean energy legacy by transforming the way that we generate power for Northwest Florida,” Santos said.


27 Responses to “Gulf Power Plant Crist Gets New Name With Conversion To Natural Gas”

  1. Wayne on January 26th, 2021 1:08 pm

    @ engineer

    Thank you, you just proved you are a wealthy person.
    Thank you.

  2. David Huie Green on January 26th, 2021 1:04 pm

    “As knowledge approaches zero, money approaches infinity.
    Conclusion: The less you know, the more money you make.”

    …OR, the less knowledge, the less you know, the higher the cost.

    It depends on whether you are paid or paying.

  3. engineer on January 25th, 2021 4:04 pm

    Just to add to the discussion of money and power…
    First, we know that:
    time is money
    knowledge is power
    power = work / time
    knowledge = work / money
    Solving for money:
    money = work / knowledge
    Applying calculus:
    As knowledge approaches zero, money approaches infinity.
    Conclusion: The less you know, the more money you make.

  4. What on January 25th, 2021 2:42 am

    In addition, I have a brother with an I.Q that would be unexplainable to most but he has no common sense and he will at least admit to it.

  5. What on January 25th, 2021 2:40 am

    I’m with (retired) , I see a bunch of over educated idiots posting on this section. Some people don’t have common sense. Mr. (retired) is completely right and if you don’t agree just wait four years.

  6. David Huie Green on January 24th, 2021 8:20 pm


    Bitumen from oil sands, pretty much just asphalt. Basically what is generally left over after petroleum refining is completely, usually used to pave roads.

    I never worried much about a pipeline break because the stuff would harden and turn solid as it cooled. Also about the same thing we, America, refine for Venezuela. I once drilled through a kilometer of the stuff offshore Angola, within sight of Luanda. We could have paved most of the roads in Angola if it had been worth producing. Or we could have sold it to America at low price because pretty much only we Americans can get much other good out of it.

    I guess China can too, although they may just burn it.

    David for paved roads

  7. David Huie Green on January 24th, 2021 8:00 pm

    “To replace Crist Plant’s 924MWs of power would then require 11.55 SQUARE MILES of solar panels.
    Do people understand that? It is simple math to calculate the massive amounts of land needed.”

    Call it 12 square miles. 3 miles by 4 miles out of Escambia County’s 875 square miles, less than 1.5%. (Not that it would have to be on land, folks would throw fits but Escambia bay or Perdido Bay could probably float it. Or imagine placing the solar panels above our roads, parking lots, rooftops.)

    Some solar panels CAN pass enough light to allow crop growth the panels. Imagine if a farmer were certain of good, steady income from solar over the fields — possibly more than earned from normal crop sales while still making crops, including protection from frost and irrigation system built in by contract.

    It might never happen, but it certainly wouldn’t be the end of the world if all benefitted.

    David for people

  8. David Huie Green on January 24th, 2021 7:39 pm

    “President Trump made us energy independent. For the first time in our history, the USA became an oil-exporting nation.”

    Actually, it was the oil industry with their hydraulic fracturing — which President Biden doesn’t intend to shut down although I think he wants to avoid it on federal lands for now.

    And the practice started under President George W. Bush and was encouraged under President Obama or at the very least not discouraged. It had pretty much shut down under President Trump due to lower demand caused by economic shutdown and greater fuel efficiency from LED lights (a GWB initiative, continued under BHO despite opposition by DJT because he hated all things Obama — at least as long as BHO got any credit for them). Also due to more efficient engines in cars (many previous presidents supporting, DJT opposed of course) and electric cars and wind and solar innovations and production (more DJT opposition, in part because he thought the generators and other components made in Pensacola are Chinese).

    Government works best for the people with continuity, understanding, and sanity.

    David for those who build rather than destroy

  9. 74 megawatts of huh? on January 24th, 2021 7:22 pm

    Ya, no generation of solar at night. That’s why they calculated the output accordingly based on overall energy generation.

    Why y’all want to disbelieve anything that doesn’t fit your narrative? Lol

    Seems sheeplike, to me.

  10. David Huie Green on January 24th, 2021 7:20 pm

    “74 megawatts or 74 megawatt hours?”

    Megawatts. Megawatts are power, energy per unit time. Megawatt-hours are just a certain amount of energy. During prime solar hours a 74 megawatt solar power system produces 74 Megawatt-hours in one hour, again the next hour, and for years to come — while the sun shines at its peak, less before and after. You need some way to store it in times of plenty and/or low demand, get it whatever the current demand.

    In Florida, the average home uses around 1,110 kWh of electricity per year. Some times of the day or year, nearly no power is used, other times much more.

    Natural gas is good for instantaneous demand. Converting electricity from solar power excess into methane or hydrogen would be good. Batteries and pumped hydro work fairly well but are expensive. One interesting method of storage involves charging electric cars when there is plenty and they aren’t being driven, using them as power supply when needed and not being used. You’d have to make sure you didn’t draw then too far down for the times they were being driven and not hooked to the power grid. As more electric vehicles are used, this becomes much more viable.

    David for better batteries

  11. Dave on January 24th, 2021 5:01 pm

    Yes, I heard Trump contacted you personally and told you NOT to by for example a Prius or Volt
    What else pray tell what did that nasty man make you do?

    Look in the made your own decisions just as everyone does. one told you that you could not run for president…thank God! warned…no one likes a blamer for president!
    God Bless you little fella

  12. Tom Meehan on January 24th, 2021 2:18 pm

    74 megawatts or 74 megawatt hours? It will produce 0 watts at night. There’s a big difference.

  13. retired on January 24th, 2021 9:57 am

    President Trump made us energy independent. For the first time in our history, the USA became an oil-exporting nation. Biden’s illogical and corrupt dismantling of the Keystone Pipeline not only displaced 42,000 high-paying union jobs but now Canada will sell the oil in Alberta BC to China while we search for new supplies at higher prices. Well done Joe!

  14. Kane on January 23rd, 2021 10:43 pm

    @retired Are you a Russian troll? Seriously are you? I ask because a 2 second google search would have shown you that the Keystone pipeline transports OIL, CRUDE OIL to be exact a ‘bubblin crude’ ‘black gold’ ‘texas tea’ not gas.

    You sir/madam are spreading misinformation either out of some diabolical plot or our of shear ignorance either way i’m calling you out.

  15. chuck oellerich on January 23rd, 2021 7:27 pm

    So, per the article 1200 acres will be set up for solar to produce approximately 150MWs. Do people realize 1200 acres is 1.875 square miles.
    Do people realize the ultimate green people’s goal is to close all power stations and replace them with solar or wind. To replace Crist Plant’s 924MWs of power would then require 11.55 SQUARE MILES of solar panels.
    Do people understand that? It is simple math to calculate the massive amounts of land needed.

  16. MR REALITY on January 23rd, 2021 4:53 pm

    another total SCAM. The old GULP should of already done this BUT ask yourself WHY didnt they….HUMMMMMMMMMMMMMM….think people think….GULP was selling themselves coal at inflated rates….It was a WIN WIN for them…..LOSE LOSE for the customer…..Now this new bunch come along and dont even mention the $500,000,0000 we are STILL paying for the COAL SCRUBBER…WHAT ABOUT THE CUSTOMER GULP??? Why do we ALWAYS GET THE SHAFT and you guys make profits…NO MATTER WHAT BAD DECISIONS YOUR SENIOR MGT MADE/MAKES….

  17. Steve on January 23rd, 2021 4:37 pm

    “Windmills cause cancer”, Trump.

    The tribal nature of complaining about switching to a cleaner energy source is expected in this area. I mean, don’t you love breathing in toxic coal fumes that waft all over us. If so, stick with me because I just need donations NOW to mobilize a force to overturn their poor decisions in bringing us cleaner energy! I will fight for you to bring back dirty coal power and ensure that more mountain tops are blown off in West Virginia to strip mine it! Who needs stupid mountains anyway! Buy now and save later!!

  18. CUSTOMER on January 23rd, 2021 4:09 pm

    @ Anthony Lewis

    did you use the power??????? then pay for what you use

  19. retired on January 23rd, 2021 4:04 pm


  20. Donald W Manfred on January 23rd, 2021 4:02 pm

    So long as State Law allows the Power Companies to pass on their costs to their customers, they do and spend on anything and everything they wish without worrying about the cost because they cannot lose their money no matter what. The only thing that can help the customer is for the State to put restrictions on the Power Companies. Call your State Legislators No one else can possibly help you.

  21. Anthony Lewis on January 23rd, 2021 3:24 pm

    I just think the power bills for the last month was to much. Especially when there is a pandemic … Why do us a the people have suffer for something that we didn’t cause …. I judt think they should help us our more then they are doing

  22. Kane on January 23rd, 2021 1:36 pm

    We live in a state that is impacted by hurricanes. Whenever you see those power trucks rolling to restore power you can bet you will get a rate increase because those trucks don’t run on air those power workers (god bless every one of them!) don’t work for free. Our power rates in Florida will never be “low”. Install solar in your home if you want a lower bill.

    Companies are in business to make money they are not charities and they have a right to make a profit. With that said they also have a responsibility to the communities that supports them. That is the part of system that is broken we pay our bills we take the rate increase but we do not get our monies worth.

    A prime example of this is the Gulf Power website specifically the bill paying portion of their site. The former owners of GP hired a third party web site to collect payments online. You would need to log onto the GP website click “pay bill” this would in turn take you to the third party site where you would need to input all of your customer data ie name address account number so forth. You would then have to input your payment information. You would have to repeat this process every month. This was an arduous task for those of us that pay our GP bill online.

    The new owners of Gulf Power said they were going to do away with the third party pay system and we would be able to pay the bill directly from the Gulf Power website. Some few months after taking over they did revamp the website and do away with the third party pay system only to replace it with another third party website.

    Not only do you need to input all of your info in the new system every time you use it now you have to log into that website it harasses you to create a profile and wallet to save your payment information. I for one am not comfortable trusting an unknown third party website with saving my payment information.

    Not only did the new owners of Gulf Power lie about removing the third party website they actually made it more difficult and time consuming to pay your bill online. This process poses a greater risk to everyone’s payment information and costs the consumer money because we are the ones paying for that third party site.

  23. Kayla G Duran on January 23rd, 2021 1:34 pm

    I somehow have a 3222 dollar bill lile how the hell

  24. Ron Harris on January 23rd, 2021 10:41 am

    All spending to convert to gas, modernize plant, and build solar farms is paid for by the consumer. Fuel costs and operational costs may be lower, but the cost of construction will be built into the rate per kwh. There is no free lunch. Governments and corporations don’t pay for anything. The consumer and taxpayer pays for everything. There is no free lunch.

  25. Anne on January 23rd, 2021 9:42 am

    @ Confused….

    I think what was really meant is they Reduced their cost to the Consumer saving FPL’s costs….NOT the Customer’s billing.

  26. SueB on January 23rd, 2021 9:31 am

    Get ready for more power outages. Prices will never go down but Santos will make a bundle. Now, is Gulf going to keep coal for a backup or just rely on the sun?

  27. Confused on January 23rd, 2021 5:27 am

    So, they mention in this article twice that this will reduce customer operating cost and it’s been mentioned in other articles. Then, why has the company raised rates the last 2 years and asking for additional rate hikes the next 4? Obviously we the people are not getting that reduction in cost they keep throwing out there.

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