FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., April 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today formally commissioned its Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center – the third in a series of such facilities powered by American-produced natural gas. As was the case with the company's Next Generation Clean Energy Centers at Riviera Beach and Cape Canaveral, the Port Everglades facility replaces a 1960s-era, oil-fired power plant that was demolished in mid-2013. During its operational lifetime, the new, fuel-efficient plant, which entered service two months early and under budget, is expected to provide FPL customers with hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel and other savings.
"The Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center is yet another demonstration of our commitment to dramatically reducing our dependence on foreign oil, while at the same time, delivering clean, reliable and affordable energy for our customers," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "This facility is the equivalent of taking a car from the 1960s and replacing it with a hybrid, which is more fuel efficient and produces less emissions. This energy center is one more example of how the nearly 9,000 employees of FPL are working hard each and every day to ensure our customers benefit from electric bills that are among the lowest in the state and 30 percent below the national average."
FPL invested approximately $1.2 billion to build the new energy center on the same site in Broward County where a 1960s-era oil-burning plant was dismantled three years ago. Construction was completed two months ahead of schedule, allowing the plant to officially enter commercial operation on April 1.
By making smart investments in high-efficiency energy centers that operate on American-produced natural gas and use less fuel to generate more energy, FPL has cut fuel costs and saved its customers more than $8 billion since 2001. The new Port Everglades energy center, running on 35 percent less fuel per megawatt-hour, is estimated to save FPL's customers $400 million during the 30-year life of the facility.
New energy center benefits local economy, environment
FPL's investment in the new energy center also brings with it important benefits for the local economy. At the peak of construction, more than 900 people were employed, the majority of whom were Floridians, giving an economic boost to numerous local businesses.
"Hollywood is proud to be the home of FPL's newest state-of-the-art, high efficiency, natural gas energy center in Port Everglades. The center will benefit the City of Hollywood for years to come by providing reliable, domestically produced, clean energy," said Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober. "Additionally, FPL's investment will specifically assist Hollywood in the form of new tax revenue in the years ahead."
In addition to saving on fuel costs, the energy center's technology further improves FPL's emissions profile – already among the cleanest in the United States. In fact, as a result of FPL's investments in clean energy technology, the company is already positioned to meet the U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan targets by 2030 today. Compared to the former plant, the new energy center reduces air emissions by more than 90 percent and cuts the carbon dioxide emissions rate in half, which is the equivalent of removing 46,000 cars from the highway each year.
The new energy center is capable of producing about 1,277 megawatts of electricity or enough power for more than a quarter million residential customers.
Other investments in clean, efficient generation
The Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center is part of FPL's ongoing effort to modernize its power generation fleet in order to continue providing clean, affordable, reliable energy for its customers. These investments, which are projected to save customers billions of dollars in fossil fuel costs, include:
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving more than 4.8 million customer accounts or more than 10 million people across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30 percent lower than the latest national average and, in 2015, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the sixth year in a row. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company was recognized in 2015 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,800 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune's 2016 list of "World's Most Admired Companies." NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
EDITORS NOTE: B-roll and photos of the new plant are available below:
SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company