JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company’s West County Energy Center and DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center were recognized at an awards ceremony last night as Top Plants for 2010 by POWER magazine. According to POWER, Top Plants are “those projects that have distinguished themselves as industry leaders for either their best-of-class operating records, environmental performance, unique technology, or importance to their local community.”
“I’m extremely pleased that our teams have been recognized for our dedication to industry best practices. These leading-edge plants are bringing significant economic and environmental benefits to our customers,” said FPL President and CEO Armando Olivera.
FPL brought online West County Energy Center Units 1 and 2 − twin approximately 1,220-megawatt natural gas combined-cycle generating units in Palm Beach County − ahead of schedule and without a single human operator error. A third 1,220-megawatt unit is under construction and expected to become operational in 2011. With the West County plant a part of the company’s power plant fleet, FPL customers will save hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel costs and the company’s overall emissions profile will improve significantly, including an average annual net reduction of approximately 1,490,000 tons of carbon dioxide. More than 1,600 workers were involved in construction of the West County Energy Center.
At the 25-megawatt DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, FPL completed construction ahead of schedule and more than $22 million under budget. The solar photovoltaic facility uses more than 90,000 panels that turn the sun’s rays into electricity to power more than 3,000 homes, and the project created 400 construction jobs. The DeSoto plant is projected to prevent more than 575,000 tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to avoiding emissions from more than 4,500 cars per year. The electricity generated from the DeSoto solar facility is projected to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels by 7 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 277,000 barrels of oil over the life of the facility.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest electric utility in Florida and one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the United States. FPL serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is a leading employer in the state with approximately 10,000 employees. The company consistently outperforms national averages for service reliability while customer bills are 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.