JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company today received approval from the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) to begin construction of three solar energy centers that will make Florida the second largest supplier of utility-generated solar power in the nation.
“Today’s decision by the PSC represents a major step forward in making Florida a leader in solar power generation. At a time of record-setting fossil fuel prices and concern over global climate change, solar power helps to meet the goals of protecting the environment and enhancing Florida’s energy security. Governor Crist and the state legislature set a goal of increasing renewable energy in Florida, and as a clean energy company we are committed to playing a meaningful role in this endeavor,” said FPL President Armando J. Olivera.
Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature approved and the Governor signed into law a comprehensive energy bill which provided for the development of renewable energy, subject to PSC approval. FPL, a subsidiary of clean energy leader FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE:FPL), presented a proposal to the PSC for three solar energy centers that includes the world’s largest photovoltaic solar array and the first “hybrid” energy center that will couple solar thermal technology with an existing natural gas combined-cycle generation unit.
The projects are:
- The DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center. Planned for construction on FPL-owned property in DeSoto County, Fla., the DeSoto project will provide 25 megawatts of photovoltaic solar capacity, making it the world’s largest photovoltaic solar facility. DeSoto is expected to be in service by December 2009.
- The Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center. Planned for construction at FPL’s existing Martin Plant site, the Martin project will provide up to 75 megawatts of solar thermal capacity in an innovative “hybrid” design that will connect to an existing combined-cycle power plant. It is the world’s first project to integrate solar thermal steam generation into a combined-cycle steam turbine. When the power of the sun is being harnessed to produce electricity from steam, less natural gas is required. The Martin facility is expected to be on-line at the end of 2009 and completed by 2010.
- The Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center. Planned for construction at the Kennedy Space Center, the Space Coast project will provide 10 megawatts of photovoltaic solar capacity in an innovative public-private partnership. Space Coast Solar will be operating by the first quarter of 2010.
The Florida solar facilities will prevent the release of nearly 3.5 million tons of greenhouses gases over the life of the projects, which is the equivalent of removing 25,000 cars from the road per year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, photovoltaic solar systems, which convert sunlight directly to electricity, consume no fuel, use no water, and produce no waste. FPL’s unique solar thermal design, which uses the power of the sun to produce electricity from steam, uses no fossil fuel, no additional cooling water and produces zero greenhouse gas emissions.
“Our Florida projects will benefit FPL’s customers by increasing the amount of clean, renewable energy while decreasing greenhouse emissions and displacing the use of oil and natural gas,” Olivera said.
Fulfilling a Commitment
FPL’s three solar projects represent an accelerated implementation schedule of the commitments the company made at the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2007, which called for an initial 10 megawatt trial followed by the construction of 300 megawatts of solar power in Florida and 500 megawatts nationwide over seven years. With today’s approval of 110 megawatts of solar power, FPL is well on its way to meeting more than one third of its Florida target in less than a year.
Clean Energy Leadership
The Florida solar projects will help extend FPL Group’s lead as the world’s No. 1 producer of solar energy. FPL Energy is the nation’s No. 1 producer of wind power with 5,410 megawatts of installed capacity at 56 sites in 16 states. Overall, FPL Group’s generation fleet, with a capacity of 38,105 megawatts, has one of the lowest carbon dioxide emission rates in the country. FPL is the nation’s No. 1 utility for energy conservation, according to U.S. Department of Energy data. FPL’s conservation programs have helped the company avoid the need to build 12 medium-sized power plants since 1980, more than any other utility.
For more information on the FPL next generation solar energy centers, go to www.fpl.com/solar.
Florida Power & Light Company is a subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL), nationally known as a high quality, efficient and customer-driven organization focused on energy-related products and services. With annual revenues of over $15 billion and a growing presence in 27 states and Canada, FPL Group is widely recognized as one of the country’s premier power companies. Florida Power & Light Company serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, FPL Group’s competitive energy subsidiary, is the nation’s leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable sources such as solar and wind. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.FPL.com, www.FPLGroup.comand www.FPLEnergy.com.
Cautionary Statements and Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results
In connection with the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (Reform Act), FPL Group and Florida Power & Light Company (Florida Power & Light) are hereby providing cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause FPL Group's or Florida Power & Light's actual results to differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements (as such term is defined in the Reform Act) made by or on behalf of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light in this press release, on their respective websites, in response to questions or otherwise. Any statements that express, or involve discussions as to, expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance, climate change strategy or growth strategies (often, but not always, through the use of words or phrases such as will likely result, are expected to, will continue, is anticipated, aim, believe, could, estimated, may, plan, potential, projection, target, outlook, predict, intend) are not statements of historical facts and may be forward-looking. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions and uncertainties. Accordingly, any such statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to, and are accompanied by, the following important factors (in addition to any assumptions and other factors referred to specifically in connection with such forward-looking statements) that could cause FPL Group's or Florida Power & Light's actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light.
Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and FPL Group and Florida Power & Light undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances, including unanticipated events, after the date on which such statement is made. 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 factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.
The following are some important factors that could have a significant impact on FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's operations and financial results, and could cause FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements:
- FPL Group and Florida Power & Light are subject to complex laws and regulations and to changes in laws and regulations as well as changing governmental policies and regulatory actions, including, but not limited to, initiatives regarding deregulation and restructuring of the energy industry and environmental matters, including, but not limited to, matters related to the effects of climate change. Florida Power & Light holds franchise agreements with local municipalities and counties, and must renegotiate expiring agreements. These factors may have a negative impact on the business and results of operations of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light.
- The operation and maintenance of transmission, distribution and power generation facilities, including nuclear facilities, involve significant risks that could adversely affect the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light.
- The construction of, and capital improvements to, power generation facilities, including nuclear facilities, involve substantial risks. Should construction or capital improvement efforts be unsuccessful, the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light could be adversely affected.
- Because FPL Group and Florida Power & Light rely on access to capital markets, the inability to maintain current credit ratings and to access capital markets on favorable terms may limit the ability of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light to grow their businesses and would likely increase interest costs.
- Customer growth in Florida Power & Light’s service area affects FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's results of operations.
- Weather affects FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's results of operations.
- FPL Group and Florida Power & Light are subject to costs and other effects of legal proceedings as well as changes in or additions to applicable tax laws, rates or policies, rates of inflation, accounting standards, securities laws and corporate governance requirements.
- Threats of terrorism and catastrophic events that could result from terrorism, cyber attacks, or individuals and/or groups attempting to disrupt FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's business may impact the operations of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light in unpredictable ways.
- The ability of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light to obtain insurance and the terms of any available insurance coverage could be affected by national, state or local events and company-specific events.
FPL Group and Florida Power & Light are subject to employee workforce factors that could affect the businesses and financial condition of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light.
The risks described herein are not the only risks facing FPL Group and Florida Power & Light. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to FPL Group or Florida Power & Light, or that are currently deemed to be immaterial, also may materially adversely affect FPL Group’s or Florida Power & Light’s business, financial condition and/or future operating results.