KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – Officials from NASA joined Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today to commission FPL’s Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center. The new solar photovoltaic (PV) power facility is the result of a unique public-private partnership between NASA and FPL and demonstrates both organizations’ commitment to bringing clean-energy solutions to the state.
FPL’s Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center is located on NASA property at Kennedy Space Center and is producing an estimated 10 megawatts of clean, emissions-free power, which is enough energy to serve approximately 1,100 homes.
“NASA is a pioneer in the use of solar power for space exploration, so it’s fitting that we’re working with FPL to expand the use and R&D of that renewable energy source at Kennedy Space Center where many of those missions were launched,” said Robert Cabana, director of the Kennedy Space Center. “This type of commercial partnership with NASA helps provide Florida residents, and America's space program, with new sources of ‘green power’ that reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and improve the environment.”
“Like NASA, FPL is looking beyond the horizon. FPL’s Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center is an important part of our state’s clean-energy future, but large-scale solar projects like this one also have a very positive impact on the economy today,” said FPL President and CEO Armando J. Olivera. “Projects like this and our Next Generation Solar Energy Centers in Martin and DeSoto Counties give Florida the opportunity to create and attract clean-energy jobs and produce millions of dollars in new revenue for local governments while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting the effects of climate change at the same time.”
FPL’s Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 227,000 tons over the life of the project, which according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is equivalent to removing 1,800 cars from the road each year. It will also save approximately 122,000 barrels of oil and 2.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas over its lifetime.
“Florida is poised to be a leader in America’s growing clean-energy economy, which naturally includes solar power,” said Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, whose district includes the Kennedy Space Center. “Bringing new clean-energy jobs to our communities is one of my top priorities. This joint effort between NASA and FPL is an example of how we can create jobs while investing in common-sense solutions to the economic, environmental and national security challenges we face today.”
The facility features approximately 35,000 solar PV panels from SunPower Corp. (SunPower) (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB), a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, across 60 acres at Kennedy Space Center. The SunPower panels, which are the most efficient panels available on the market today, allow FPL to generate 50 percent more power at the Space Coast facility than a comparably sized project using conventional solar panels.
SunPower designed and built the 10-megawatt system and a separate one-megawatt solar power system at Kennedy Space Center, as well as FPL’s 25-megawatt DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in DeSoto County, the largest operating solar PV power plant in the U.S. SunPower intends to locate a research and development center employing up to 50 employees in Florida if the state government continues to support the deployment of additional large-scale solar energy projects.
“We congratulate FPL for its global leadership in the development of solar technologies, and for making solar energy a key part of the nation’s economic recovery and the protection of the environment for future generations,” said Howard Wenger, president, utility and power plants for SunPower. “Solar power systems can be built quickly anywhere and at any scale, and we are pleased to partner with NASA and FPL on these important projects.”
FPL’s Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center is the second large-scale solar facility that FPL has completed in Florida. The first, FPL’s DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, the country’s largest solar PV facility at 25 megawatts, was commissioned in October 2009 by President Barack Obama. Later this year, FPL plans to open the world’s first hybrid solar thermal facility to connect to an existing fossil fuel plant, FPL’s Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Indiantown, Fla. It will be the largest of FPL’s solar facilities at 75 megawatts. In total, FPL’s three solar projects combined are creating more than 1,500 direct jobs and more than 5,000 total jobs for the state during the construction period.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is the largest electric utility in Florida and one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the United States. FPL serves approximately 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is a leading employer in the state with 10,500 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 the No. 1 energy efficiency program among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL). For more information, visit www.FPL.com.
FPL Group and FPL: Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements typically express or involve discussion as to expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance, climate change strategy or growth strategies and often, but not always, can be identified by the use of words such as “will,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” and similar terms. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts and involve estimates, assumptions and uncertainties.
Although FPL Group, Inc. (FPL Group) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) believe that their expectations are reasonable, because forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, the companies can give no assurance that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release will prove to be correct, including FPL Group’s and FPL’s expectations and assumptions with respect to the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center or FPL Group’s and FPL’s other development activities (including the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center and the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center).
Important factors could cause FPL Group’s and FPL’s actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements in this press release. Factors that could have a significant impact on FPL Group’s operations and financial results, and could cause FPL Group’s and FPL’s actual results or outcomes, both generally and specifically with respect to the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center or FPL Group’s or FPL’s other development activities (including the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center and the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center), to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, among others:
• Inability to obtain the supplies necessary for the operation and maintenance of the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center or other FPL Group or FPL power generation facilities
• Inability to complete construction of or capital improvements to FPL Group or FPL power generation facilities, including the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center, the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center and the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center
• Failure of the solar photovoltaic panels or other equipment installed at the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center to generate the quantity of electricity anticipated or otherwise perform as intended
• Changes in laws, regulations, governmental policies and regulatory actions regarding the energy industry and environmental matters, in particular with respect to the deployment of solar power
• Inability to obtain the required regulatory approvals and permits for the construction and operation of other FPL Group or FPL power generation facilities
• Inability of FPL Group or FPL to access capital markets or maintain its credit rating
• Inability to hire and retain skilled labor for the operation of the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center, or other changes or disruptions related to FPL Group’s or FPL’s workforce
• General economic conditions
• Hazards customary to the operation and maintenance of power generation facilities, including unanticipated outages
• Unusual or adverse weather conditions, including natural disasters
• Transmissions constraints or other factors limiting FPL Group’s or FPL’s ability to deliver energy
• Volatility in the price of energy
• Failure of FPL Group or FPL customers to perform under contracts
• Increased competition in the power industry
• Changes in the wholesale power markets
• Costs and other effects of legal and administrative proceedings
• Terrorism or other catastrophic events
These foregoing factors should be considered in connection with information regarding risks and uncertainties that may affect FPL Group’s or FPL’s future results included in FPL Group’s and FPL’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which may be found at www.sec.gov or at www.FPLGroup.com.
Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and FPL Group and FPL undertake no obligation to update or review any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances, including unanticipated events, after the date on which such statement is made, unless otherwise required by law. New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of facts, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.