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FPL announces sites selected for eight new solar power plants
- New solar energy centers to be built across Florida by early 2018
- The plants are cost-effective, resulting in millions of dollars in net savings to FPL customers over their operational lifetime
- The plants are also projected to prevent more than 500,000 tons of carbon emissions annually - equivalent to the carbon sequestered by more than 450,000 acres of forest
JUNO BEACH, Fla., March 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company today announced the names and locations of its 2017 and 2018 universal solar projects, consisting of eight new 74.5-megawatt solar power plants that will be built over the next 12 months.
The following four plants are expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2017:
And the remaining four plants are expected to be completed by March 1, 2018:
"With the support of communities across the state, we are advancing smart, affordable clean energy infrastructure while keeping customer bills low," said Eric Silagy, FPL president and CEO. "On a per-megawatt basis, these eight new plants will be the lowest-cost solar ever built in Florida and some of the lowest-cost solar ever built in America. Our steadfast commitment to delivering solar cost-effectively directly benefits our customers, our environment and the economy."
FPL has been working for several years to find ways to reduce costs in order to bring more universal solar to its customers cost-effectively. Lower costs that come with nearby transmission and substation infrastructure continue to be a driving force behind the selection of FPL's universal solar sites, as well as the company's ability to buy solar panels in large quantities – more than 2.5 million solar panels in all across the eight new solar energy centers.
Combined, the new plants are expected to generate enough energy annually to power approximately 120,000 homes and produce net savings for FPL customers of $39 million over their operational lifetime. The net savings are due primarily to the projected reduction in the use of fossil fuels more than offsetting the cost to build the plants.
Construction is expected to commence this spring. At the height of construction, each of the sites is expected to employ about 200 people, for a total of approximately 1,600 jobs.
FPL has been working closely with community leaders, local residents and environmental experts to identify and prepare each of the sites to host the new solar installations, and the company has received widespread support for the investment, which will total approximately $900 million in new solar for Florida.
"The Nature Conservancy wholeheartedly supports Florida's renewable energy future, and we're pleased to see FPL's shared commitment by adding 2.5 million new solar panels at eight new universal solar power plants," said Greg Knecht, deputy executive director of the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.
"An additional eight new solar energy centers is a major step toward reducing carbon emissions and saving water, benefitting the earth and all Floridians," said Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida.
FPL's universal solar energy centers provide zero-emissions power to the grid and are designed to avoid wetlands and minimize any impact on natural surroundings. The panels sit low to the ground, at about 6 to 8 feet high, on racks that fit directly into the soil and do not require any concrete. Once construction is complete, the plants operate without water, fuel or on-site personnel, placing little to no demand on public services.
"We are proud of our long partnership with FPL," said Pete Tesch, president of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County. "Investing in affordable clean energy infrastructure is one of the many reasons our state is top of mind as best places to live and work. No one understands this better than FPL and they've got the track record to show it."
"I am a snowbird who spends summers in Cape Cod where my electric rates are way higher than FPL's," said David Lee Valdina, a retiree and part-time resident of the Barefoot Bay community. "I was impressed with the plans for the new solar plant. In addition to generating more clean energy for us, the solar plant will make an excellent neighbor – quiet and out of sight."
"We congratulate FPL as they continue to increase the number of solar power facilities and welcome them to Indian River County," said Penny Chandler, president of the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce. "The construction phase for each project will provide several hundred jobs that will result in a positive impact on our Indian River County community."
"Our county knows firsthand the value a solar energy center can bring to a local community," said DeSoto County Commissioner Jim Selph. "The solar energy center FPL built back in 2009, the largest of its kind in the country at the time, put DeSoto County on the map. Since then, people from around the world have come through to tour the solar array. We're thrilled that FPL is continuing to expand its solar footprint in DeSoto."
"The expanding clean energy footprint FPL continues to develop is great news, and we love that one of the sites pays homage to the Loggerhead sea turtle. To have a wonderful new solar energy center bearing this special species name is emblematic of FPL's approach to environmental stewardship and is really going to be meaningful to our community," said Jack E. Lighton, president and CEO of Loggerhead Marinelife Center, a non-profit education facility and sea turtle hospital dedicated to the conservation and preservation of the marine environment.
"We're excited that a solar energy center is coming to Alachua County. It will generate new awareness for our community and all that it has to offer while adding renewable energy to our diverse portfolio of industries that are doing business in Alachua," said Kevin Monroe, chairman of the Council for Economic Outreach for the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.
FPL consistently ranks as one of the cleanest, most reliable energy providers in the nation, and the price that FPL's typical, 1,000-kWh residential customer pays for electricity continues to be less than it was more than 10 years ago and well below the latest national average. Furthering this trend, the new solar energy centers are projected to be cost-effective over their operational lifetime, producing millions of dollars in long-term net savings for FPL customers.
The company's innovative approach to investing in affordable clean energy infrastructure since 2001, which includes adding advanced technologies and phasing out older coal-fired and oil-burning power plants, has saved FPL customers more than $8.6 billion in fossil fuel costs and prevented 108 million tons of carbon emissions.
Major FPL solar installations currently in operation
FPL currently operates more than 335 megawatts of solar generating capacity, enough to power 60,000 homes. Major installations include:
In addition, FPL has installed small-scale solar arrays for more than 100 Florida schools and other educational facilities. For more information, visit www.FPL.com/solar.
Florida Power & Light Company
NOTE TO EDITORS: B-roll, renderings and photos available below:
Cautionary Statements and Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts, but instead represent the current expectations of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NextEra Energy) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) regarding future operating results and other future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of NextEra Energy's and FPL's control. In some cases, you can identify the forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as "will," "may result," "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "intend," "plan," "seek," "potential," "projection," "forecast," "predict," "goals," "target," "outlook," "should," "would" or similar words or expressions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future performance. 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a prolonged period of low gas and oil prices could impact NextEra Energy Resources' gas infrastructure business and cause NextEra Energy Resources to delay or cancel certain gas infrastructure projects and for certain existing projects to be impaired; risk to NextEra Energy Resources of increased operating costs resulting from unfavorable supply costs necessary to provide NextEra Energy Resources' full energy and capacity requirement services; inability or failure by NextEra Energy Resources to manage properly or hedge effectively the commodity risk within its portfolio; effect of reductions in the liquidity of energy markets on NextEra Energy's ability to manage operational risks; effectiveness of NextEra Energy's and FPL's risk management tools associated with their hedging and trading procedures to protect against significant losses, including the effect of unforeseen price variances from historical behavior; impact of unavailability or disruption of power transmission or commodity transportation facilities on sale and delivery of power or natural gas by FPL and NextEra Energy Resources; 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environmental, health and financial risks associated with NextEra Energy Resources' and FPL's ownership and operation of nuclear generation facilities; liability of NextEra Energy and FPL for significant retrospective assessments and/or retrospective insurance premiums in the event of an incident at certain nuclear generation facilities; increased operating and capital expenditures and/or result in reduced revenues at nuclear generation facilities of NextEra Energy or FPL resulting from orders or new regulations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; inability to operate any of NextEra Energy Resources' or FPL's owned nuclear generation units through the end of their respective operating licenses; effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets on NextEra Energy's and FPL's ability to fund their liquidity and capital needs and meet their growth objectives; inability of NextEra Energy, FPL and NextEra Energy Capital Holdings, Inc. to maintain their current credit ratings; impairment of NextEra Energy's and FPL's liquidity from inability of credit providers to fund their credit commitments or to maintain their current credit ratings; poor market performance and other economic factors that could affect NextEra Energy's defined benefit pension plan's funded status; poor market performance and other risks to the asset values of NextEra Energy's and FPL's nuclear decommissioning funds; changes in market value and other risks to certain of NextEra Energy's investments; effect of inability of NextEra Energy subsidiaries to pay upstream dividends or repay funds to NextEra Energy or of NextEra Energy's performance under guarantees of subsidiary obligations on NextEra Energy's ability to meet its financial obligations and to pay dividends on its common stock; the fact that the amount and timing of dividends payable on NextEra Energy's common stock, as well as the dividend policy approved by NextEra Energy's board of directors from time to time, and changes to that policy, are within the sole discretion of NextEra Energy's board of directors and, if declared and paid, dividends may be in amounts that are less than might be expected by shareholders; NEP's inability to access sources of capital on commercially reasonable terms could have an effect on its ability to consummate future acquisitions and on the value of NextEra Energy's limited partner interest in NextEra Energy Operating Partners, LP; and effects of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets on the market price of NextEra Energy's common stock. NextEra Energy and FPL discuss these and other risks and uncertainties in their annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and other SEC filings, and this news release should be read in conjunction with such SEC filings made through the date of this news release. The forward-looking statements made in this news release are made only as of the date of this news release and NextEra Energy and FPL undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company
For further information: Florida Power & Light Company, Media Line: 561-694-4442, @FPL_Newsroom