MIAMI, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company, a subsidiary of clean energy leader FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL), today announced new solar energy projects that include the world’s largest photovoltaic solar plant and first “hybrid” energy center, coupling solar thermal technology with an existing combined-cycle generation unit.
“Pending regulatory approval, FPL will build 110 megawatts of solar power right here in the Sunshine State, making Florida No. 2 in the nation for solar energy,” FPL Group Chairman and CEO Lewis Hay, III announced today at the 2008 Florida Summit on Global Climate Change in Miami. “This is made possible in part by the strong support and determined leadership of Governor Crist and the Florida legislature, who crafted a progressive energy bill that put a supportive policy framework in place for solar power.”
Along with a previously announced photovoltaic solar installation at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the projects will generate 110 megawatts of emissions-free electricity. The projects are:
- The DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center. Planned for construction to commence by year-end 2008 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.
- The Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center. Planned for construction to commence by the beginning of 2009 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. When the power of the sun is producing electricity from steam, less fossil fuel is required.
- The Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center. Planned for construction to commence by the beginning of 2009 at the Kennedy Space Center, the Space Coast project will provide 10 megawatts of photovoltaic solar capacity in an innovative public-private partnership.
These 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 announcement, FPL is meeting more than one-third of its Florida target in under a year.
Together, the three sites 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. Solar thermal systems, which use the power of the sun to produce electricity from steam, use no fossil fuel, no additional cooling water and produce zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The 110 megawatts of photovoltaic solar and solar thermal power announced by FPL today is in addition to 250 megawatts of solar thermal power announced by FPL Energy on March 26. Together, the projects will dramatically extend FPL Group’s lead as the world’s No. 1 producer of solar energy. FPL Group is also the nation’s No. 1 producer of wind power.
The company has secured the necessary zoning approval and has access to the necessary transmission infrastructure for all three projects. The Martin and DeSoto County projects will be built entirely on FPL-owned land. FPL submitted a petition on May 16 to the Florida Public Service Commission to commence regulatory approval to build the three projects.
A Record of Clean Energy Leadership
With the announcement of these solar projects, FPL Group is further demonstrating its commitment to improving the environment and expanding its renewable energy portfolio:
- 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.
- FPL Energy operates the world’s largest solar thermal field in California’s Mojave Desert and is the nation’s largest wind power company, 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.
In addition, FPL Group is one of the electric power industry’s strongest advocates for a mandatory, nationwide policy to place a price on carbon dioxide emissions. Hay has testified before Congress in support of a national carbon fee as the most efficient and effective way to slow, stop and eventually reverse the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. He has also expressed support for a cap-and-trade program that requires carbon emitters to bear the cost of their emissions rather than shift those costs onto society and incorporates appropriate price controls during the early transition years to minimize disruptions to the economy.
For more information on the FPL next generation solar energy centers, click here.
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.