JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company announced today that it expects the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia, Fla., to begin delivering electricity to customers later this month – ahead of schedule.
The facility will overtake Nevada’s Nellis Solar Power Plant for the title of largest solar photovoltaic solar facility in the nation and in North America. Constructed in less than a year, the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center uses over 90,000 photovoltaic panels to turn the sun's rays into electricity to power more than 3,000 homes.
The DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center is one of three new commercial-scale, renewable, solar power plants FPL is building in Florida, along with solar energy centers in Martin County and at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Together, these will total 110 megawatts of capacity by the end of 2010 and are expected to make Florida the second largest solar power-producing state in the country.
“Large-scale solar projects such as FPL’s DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center provide Florida with the opportunity to create and attract more 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,” said FPL Vice President and Chief Development Officer Eric Silagy. “FPL is proud to lead the development of clean, renewable solar energy in Florida, and we are positioned to build even more over the next two to three years if the state’s legislative and regulatory leaders continue to support solar energy.”
Over the past year, the facility benefited the local economy in DeSoto County by creating more than 400 jobs during construction. The county will also receive annual tax revenues that will amount to $2 million for schools and other local services by the end of next year.
Solar photovoltaic power also provides significant environmental benefits because the facility consumes no fuel, uses no water and produces no waste. Over the life of the facility, the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center will avoid the release of more than 575,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to taking more than 4,500 cars off the road every year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, the electricity generated by this facility will reduce the use of fossil fuels in Florida by more than 277,000 barrels of oil and 7 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
For more information about FPL’s Next Generation Solar Energy Centers, visit www.FPL.com/solar.
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 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is a leading employer in the state with nearly 11,000 employees. The company consistently outperforms national averages for service reliability while customer bills are well 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 DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center or FPL Group’s and FPL’s other development activities (including the Space Coast 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 DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center or FPL Group’s or FPL’s other development activities (including the Space Coast 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 complete construction of or capital improvements to the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center or other FPL Group or FPL power generation facilities
• Inability of the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center to produce the anticipated electrical output
• Inability to obtain the supplies necessary for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the DeSoto Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center or other FPL Group or FPL power generation facilities
• Inability to obtain the required regulatory approvals and permits for the construction and operation of other FPL Group or FPL power generation facilities
• 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 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 DeSoto 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.