FPL Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center commissioned

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - Florida Power & Light formally commissioned the Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center Thursday morning.

Several area dignitaries were on hand for the event.

There was a flag-raising ceremony and students from Faith Place played steel drums.

The Next Generation Clean Energy Center began providing cleaner electricity to customers on April 1, according to FPL.

The utility says the center replaced a 60s-era oil burning plant that was taken down in 2011.

"The fact we have clean gas technology, requiring less gas, that's less gas going into all of our bills we have to pay," said Timothy Bryant, the plant manager for FPL.

The company also announced a new manatee education center will be built alongside the plant.

"We've got an obligation to help educate not just the community, but for children to tell the story of why these creatures, these mammals are so important," said Robert Gould, with FPL.

The center will include exhibits, a boardwalk and a manatee viewing area. The mammals gather near the plant in cooler weather to be close to the warm water flowing out. It will open in November 2015.