BREVARD COUNTY, Fla., April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Florida Power & Light Company today announced that its state-of-the-art Cape Canaveral Next Generation Clean Energy Center has begun generating electricity from clean, U.S.-produced natural gas. Over its operational lifetime, the new, fuel-efficient plant is expected to provide FPL customers hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel and other savings over and above the cost of construction.
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FPL invested approximately $900 million to build the facility, which was constructed on the site of a 1960s-era plant that the company took down in 2010. Construction was completed more than a month ahead of schedule and approximately $140 million under budget.
The plant is capable of producing more than 1,200 megawatts of electricity or enough to power approximately 250,000 homes and businesses – roughly double the amount generated by the previous plant – without using any additional water or land.
"It's fitting that this historic Cape Canaveral site, which emerged to power American innovation and leadership in the space race more than half a century ago, will now be using some of the most advanced generation technology available and U.S.-produced natural gas to help power the Space Coast's bright future," said FPL President Eric Silagy. "This plant uses 33 percent less fuel to generate electricity, which will help us keep our typical residential customer bills the lowest in Florida and significantly lower than the national average. It's an important achievement for our company and our state. Investments in affordable, reliable, clean electricity will help our state's economy continue to grow."
FPL's investments in state-of-the-art, combined-cycle, natural gas power plants since 2001 have cut the company's fuel costs by more than $6 billion through 2012, and 100 percent of those savings have been passed on to customers. By using natural gas to generate electricity, FPL has reduced its use of foreign oil by 98 percent – from more than 40 million barrels of oil in 2001 to now less than 1 million barrels annually.
In addition to saving on fuel costs, the latest technology further improves FPL's emissions profile – already among the cleanest in the United States. Compared to the former Cape Canaveral plant, the new facility generates power with half the rate of carbon dioxide emissions and more than 90 percent fewer air emissions. Moreover, the plant site's administration building features rooftop solar panels as part of its U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
Also, FPL's investment in the new plant has important economic benefits locally. Construction of the plant employed more than 650 people at its peak, approximately three-quarters of which were filled by Floridians. It also supported numerous local businesses over the past three years, and during the plant's first full year of operation, it is expected to deliver $15 million in new tax revenue for local governments and school districts.
As part of the company's four-year rate agreement approved by the Florida Public Service Commission last year, the net increase on a typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill will be 16 cents a month, or about half a penny per day, as the cost of building the plant is offset in large part by the fuel savings from the plant's efficiency. FPL customers can use the online bill calculator at www.FPL.com/answers to learn more.
"At FPL, we're investing billions of dollars every year in our infrastructure – improving the efficiency of our power plants to keep fuel costs and emissions down, hardening our infrastructure so we can provide reliable service year-round and supporting the state's economic development, which benefits all Floridians," Silagy said.
Other investments in clean, efficient generation
The Cape Canaveral modernization is part of FPL's ongoing effort to modernize its power plant fleet in order to continue providing affordable, reliable and clean power for its customers. These investments, which are projected to save customers billions of dollars on fossil fuel costs, include:
- Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center: In 2011, FPL demolished a 1960s-era plant in Palm Beach County, Fla., and began construction of the Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center. The new plant is on track to enter service in June 2014.
- Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center: The Port Everglades Plant in Broward County, Fla., is slated to be taken down this summer. It will be replaced by FPL's Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center, which is expected to enter service in June 2016.
- St. Lucie and Turkey Point Nuclear Plant Uprate Project: FPL recently completed the largest extended power uprate project in the country, adding more than 500 new, zero-emission megawatts through massive upgrades of its two nuclear power plants.
For more information, visit www.FPL.com/modernizations.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest rate-regulated electric utility in Florida and serves the third-largest number of customers of any electric utility in the United States. FPL serves approximately 4.6 million customer accounts and is a leading Florida employer with approximately 10,000 employees as of year-end 2012. During the five-year period ended December 31, 2012, the company delivered the best service reliability among Florida investor-owned utilities. As of year-end 2012, its typical residential customer bills are the lowest in Florida, and based on data available in July 2012, are about 26 percent below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.FPL.com.
Cautionary Statements and Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts, but instead represent the current expectations of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NextEra Energy) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) regarding future operating results and other future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of NextEra Energy's and FPL's control. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, among others, statements concerning future operating performance. In some cases, you can identify the forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as "will," "will result," "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "intend," "plan," "seek," "aim," "potential," "projection," "forecast," "predict," "goals," "target," "outlook," "should," "would" or similar words or expressions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future performance. The future results of NextEra Energy and FPL are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause their actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: effects of extensive regulation of NextEra Energy's and FPL's business operations; inability of NextEra Energy and FPL to recover in a timely manner any significant amount of costs, a return on certain assets or an appropriate return on capital through base rates, cost recovery clauses, other regulatory mechanisms or otherwise; impact of political, regulatory and economic factors on regulatory decisions important to NextEra Energy and FPL; risks of disallowance of cost recovery by FPL based on a finding of imprudent use of derivative instruments; effect of any reductions to or elimination of governmental incentives that support renewable energy projects of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and its affiliated entities (NextEra Energy Resources); impact of new or revised laws, regulations or interpretations or other regulatory initiatives on NextEra Energy and FPL; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of potential regulatory action to broaden the scope of regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) financial derivatives and to apply such regulation to NextEra Energy and FPL; capital expenditures, increased operating costs and various liabilities attributable to environmental laws, regulations and other standards applicable to NextEra Energy and FPL; effects on NextEra Energy and FPL of federal or state laws or regulations mandating new or additional limits on the production of greenhouse gas emissions; exposure of NextEra Energy and FPL to significant and increasing compliance costs and substantial monetary penalties and other sanctions as a result of extensive federal regulation of their operations; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of changes in tax laws and in judgments and estimates used to determine tax-related asset and liability amounts; impact on NextEra Energy and FPL of adverse results of litigation; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of failure to proceed with projects under development or inability to complete the construction of (or capital improvements to) electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities or other facilities on schedule or within budget; impact on development and operating activities of NextEra Energy and FPL resulting from risks related to project siting, financing, construction, permitting, governmental approvals and the negotiation of project development agreements; risks involved in the operation and maintenance of electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities and other facilities; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of a lack of growth or slower growth in the number of customers or in customer usage; impact on NextEra Energy and FPL of severe weather and other weather conditions; risks associated with threats of terrorism and catastrophic events that could result from terrorism, cyber attacks or other attempts to disrupt NextEra Energy's and FPL's business or the businesses of third parties; risk of lack of availability of adequate insurance coverage for protection of NextEra Energy and FPL against significant losses; risk to NextEra Energy Resources of increased operating costs resulting from unfavorable supply costs necessary to provide NextEra Energy Resources' full energy and capacity requirement services; inability or failure by NextEra Energy Resources to hedge effectively its assets or positions against changes in commodity prices, volumes, interest rates, counterparty credit risk or other risk measures; potential volatility of NextEra Energy's results of operations caused by sales of power on the spot market or on a short-term contractual basis; effect of reductions in the liquidity of energy markets on NextEra Energy's ability to manage operational risks; effectiveness of NextEra Energy's and FPL's hedging and trading procedures and associated risk management tools to protect against significant losses; impact of unavailability or disruption of power transmission or commodity transportation facilities on sale and delivery of power or natural gas by FPL and NextEra Energy Resources; exposure of NextEra Energy and FPL to credit and performance risk from customers, hedging counterparties and vendors; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL of failure of counterparties to perform under derivative contracts or of requirement for NextEra Energy and FPL to post margin cash collateral under derivative contracts; failure or breach of NextEra Energy's and FPL's information technology systems; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL's retail businesses of compromise of sensitive customer data; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL of volatility in the market values of derivative instruments and limited liquidity in OTC markets; impact of negative publicity; inability of NextEra Energy and FPL to maintain, negotiate or renegotiate acceptable franchise agreements with municipalities and counties in Florida; increasing costs of health care plans; lack of a qualified workforce or the loss or retirement of key employees; occurrence of work strikes or stoppages and increasing personnel costs; NextEra Energy's ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate acquisitions; environmental, health and financial risks associated with NextEra Energy's and FPL's ownership of nuclear generation facilities; liability of NextEra Energy and FPL for significant retrospective assessments and/or retrospective insurance premiums in the event of an incident at certain nuclear generation facilities; increased operating and capital expenditures at nuclear generation facilities of NextEra Energy or FPL resulting from orders or new regulations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; inability to operate any of NextEra Energy Resources' or FPL's owned nuclear generation units through the end of their respective operating licenses; liability of NextEra Energy and FPL for increased nuclear licensing or compliance costs resulting from hazards posed to their owned nuclear generation facilities; risks associated with outages of NextEra Energy's and FPL's owned nuclear units; effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets on NextEra Energy's and FPL's ability to fund their liquidity and capital needs and meet their growth objectives; inability of NextEra Energy, FPL and NextEra Energy Capital Holdings, Inc. to maintain their current credit ratings; risk of impairment of NextEra Energy's and FPL's liquidity from inability of creditors to fund their credit commitments or to maintain their current credit ratings; poor market performance and other economic factors that could affect NextEra Energy's defined benefit pension plan's funded status; poor market performance and other risks to the asset values of NextEra Energy's and FPL's nuclear decommissioning funds; changes in market value and other risks to certain of NextEra Energy's investments; effect of inability of NextEra Energy subsidiaries to upstream dividends or repay funds to NextEra Energy or of NextEra Energy's performance under guarantees of subsidiary obligations on NextEra Energy's ability to meet its financial obligations and to pay dividends on its common stock; and effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets of the market price of NextEra Energy's common stock. NextEra Energy and FPL discuss these and other risks and uncertainties in their annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012 and other SEC filings, and this press release should be read in conjunction with such SEC filings made through the date of this press release. The forward-looking statements made in this press release are made only as of the date of this press release and NextEra Energy and FPL undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company