JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today received approval from the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) to launch the largest community solar program in the United States – FPL SolarTogetherSM. The program will more than double the amount of community solar currently available in the U.S. and provide FPL customers the opportunity to cost-effectively support the growth of solar in Florida. Additionally, the program will benefit all FPL customers by reducing the company’s already-low fuel costs and adding more emissions-free solar generation to FPL’s energy mix.
“This program represents significant forward progress for the solar landscape of not only Florida, but the entire United States,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “For years, access to solar energy for many Floridians was not economical or easily accessible. Now, FPL SolarTogether will provide more of our customers access to the environmental and financial benefits of solar generation regardless of where they live or how much money they make while helping increase fuel diversity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and launch Florida into a leadership position for solar energy.”
As a response to increased customer demand for alternative ways to receive the financial and environmental benefits of solar generation – leading to a reduced carbon footprint and lower energy bills – FPL SolarTogether removes traditional barriers such as large upfront costs, no long-term commitment, no penalty for leaving and the program can move with you, providing a cost-effective, hassle-free way to go solar. The innovative program is expected to generate $249 million in net cost savings for both participants and the general body of customers. In fact, FPL’s general body of customers are expected to save about $112 million over the life of the solar plants.
“By unanimously approving FPL SolarTogether – the largest shared solar program in the country – the FPSC has, once again, reminded the world that Florida is committed to leading by example when it comes to adapting to changing times and meeting customers’ needs while taking a long-term view to keep costs down,” said Silagy. “In addition to providing unprecedented solar access to customers who choose to participate in the voluntary program, FPL SolarTogether will help keep the air clean and bills low for all of our customers as we march toward installing more than 30 million solar panels by 2030.”
Support for the FPL SolarTogether program comes from some of Florida’s largest employers and national chains like Walmart and 7-Eleven, numerous cities and counties such as Miami-Dade and Broward counties, and organizations like the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Vote Solar.
More than 150,000 residential and small business customers have shown interest for FPL SolarTogether by signing up for program updates in anticipation of the program’s launch.
This voluntary solar program puts participants in full control of their level of commitment. Customers can offset up to 100% of their electricity use with emissions-free solar. Each month, participants will receive a fixed subscription charge based on the amount of their subscription as well as a subscription credit that is determined by the output from the associated solar power plants. Over time, the subscription credit will increase, resulting in a net-zero charge for participation.
“Long gone are the days when electricity was simply a commodity and customers weren’t focused on the source of power generation. Now, with climate change at the forefront of many conversations, FPL SolarTogether allows customers interested in advancing solar energy to be in control of their energy sources,” said Dr. Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “The Commission’s unanimous approval of the largest community solar program in the country will help propel Florida to the next level of solar leadership. FPL’s innovative SolarTogether program will provide access to low-cost solar energy for families and businesses across our state that want to make a real difference in tackling climate change by adopting clean, renewable sources of power. We look forward to continuing to work with FPL as the company moves forward with the launch of this groundbreaking program.”
Designed to provide everyone with an opportunity to participate, FPL SolarTogether also includes an allocated portion of its solar capacity to low-income customers. This component represents the largest low-income solar offering in the country and is also expected to launch later this year.
“SolarTogether opens the door to a greener energy future that comes with cost savings that low-income households need now more than ever,” said Katie Chiles Ottenweller, southeast director of Vote Solar. “Clean energy solutions to keep bills affordable will mean more Floridians who are struggling to make ends meet can go to bed at night with one less thing to worry about.”
Customers interested in learning more about FPL’s newest solar offering can visit FPL.com/SolarTogether and use the Bill Estimator tool to see how participating in this program can lower their energy bill over time. Calculations use an average 1,000-kWh residential monthly bill and actual savings are subject to change based on a customer’s usage and subscription level. When enrollment opens later this month, this calculator will customize the bill savings to the customer’s account.
FPL plans to open enrollment on March 17, 2020.
Benefits of Participating in FPL SolarTogether
Florida's largest generator of solar energy
FPL continues to be the leading driver of advancing solar in the Sunshine State. Twenty dedicated solar power plants, totaling 1,490 MW, are being constructed to support the FPL SolarTogether program. In addition, four new solar power plants currently under construction are expected to be online later this year as part of FPL’s SoBRA agreement approved by the FPSC. They will join the 18 solar power plants already in operation, with two that feature innovative energy storage, and hundreds of smaller solar installations* as FPL continues with its plans to install 30 million solar panels by 2030.
As Florida's largest generator of solar power, FPL has approximately 1,250 megawatts of universal solar capacity, including:
FPL Babcock Ranch Solar Energy and Battery Storage Center, Charlotte County
FPL Barefoot Bay Solar Energy Center, Brevard County
FPL Blue Cypress Solar Energy Center, Indian River County
FPL Citrus Solar Energy and Battery Storage Center, DeSoto County
FPL Coral Farms Solar Energy Center, Putnam County
FPL DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, DeSoto County
FPL Loggerhead Solar Energy Center, St. Lucie County
FPL Hammock Solar Energy Center, Hendry County
FPL Horizon Solar Energy Center, Alachua and Putnam counties
FPL Indian River Solar Energy Center, Indian River County
FPL Interstate Solar Energy Center, St. Lucie County
FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center, Manatee County
FPL Martin Next Generation Clean Energy Center (hybrid solar/natural gas), Martin County
FPL Miami-Dade Solar Energy Center, Miami-Dade County
FPL Pioneer Trail Solar Energy Center, Volusia County
FPL Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center, Brevard County
FPL Sunshine Gateway Solar Energy Center, Columbia County
FPL Wildflower Solar Energy Center, DeSoto County
FPL Solar Circuit at Daytona International Speedway, Volusia County*
Solar research installation at Florida International University, Miami-Dade County*
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest energy company in the United States as measured by retail electricity produced and sold, serving more than 5 million customer accounts or an estimated 10 million+ people across the state of Florida. FPL’s typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30% lower than the latest national average and among the lowest in the U.S. FPL’s service reliability is better than 99.98%, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all electric companies nationwide. The company was recognized in 2019 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Escalent for the sixth consecutive year. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,900 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-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 2020 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.” NextEra Energy is also the parent company of Gulf Power Company, which serves more than 470,000 customers in eight counties throughout northwest Florida, and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.GulfPower.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
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. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, among others, statements concerning adjusted earnings per share expectations and future operating performance, statements concerning future dividends, and results of acquisitions. 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. The future results of NextEra Energy and FPL and their business and financial condition are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause their actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, or may require them to limit or eliminate certain operations. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: effects of extensive regulation of NextEra Energy's and FPL's business operations; inability of NextEra Energy and FPL to recover in a timely manner any significant amount of costs, a return on certain assets or a reasonable return on invested capital through base rates, cost recovery clauses, other regulatory mechanisms or otherwise; impact of political, regulatory and economic factors on regulatory decisions important to NextEra Energy and FPL; disallowance of cost recovery by FPL based on a finding of imprudent use of derivative instruments; effect of any reductions or modifications to, or elimination of, governmental incentives or policies that support utility scale renewable energy projects of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and its affiliated entities (NextEra Energy Resources) or the imposition of additional tax laws, policies or assessments on renewable energy; impact of new or revised laws, regulations, interpretations or ballot or regulatory initiatives on NextEra Energy and FPL; capital expenditures, increased operating costs and various liabilities attributable to environmental laws, regulations and other standards applicable to NextEra Energy and FPL; effects on NextEra Energy and FPL of federal or state laws or regulations mandating new or additional limits on the production of greenhouse gas emissions; exposure of NextEra Energy and FPL to significant and increasing compliance costs and substantial monetary penalties and other sanctions as a result of extensive federal regulation of their operations and businesses; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of changes in tax laws, guidance or policies as well as in judgments and estimates used to determine tax-related asset and liability amounts; impact on NextEra Energy and FPL of adverse results of litigation; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of failure to proceed with projects under development or inability to complete the construction of (or capital improvements to) electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities or other facilities on schedule or within budget; impact on development and operating activities of NextEra Energy and FPL resulting from risks related to project siting, financing, construction, permitting, governmental approvals and the negotiation of project development agreements; risks involved in the operation and maintenance of electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities, retail gas distribution system in Florida and other facilities; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of a lack of growth or slower growth in the number of customers or in customer usage; impact on NextEra Energy and FPL of severe weather and other weather conditions; threats of terrorism and catastrophic events that could result from terrorism, cyberattacks or other attempts to disrupt NextEra Energy's and FPL's business or the businesses of third parties; inability to obtain adequate insurance coverage for protection of NextEra Energy and FPL against significant losses and risk that insurance coverage does not provide protection against all significant losses; 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 could result in certain projects becoming 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 NextEra Energy, including FPL; exposure of NextEra Energy and FPL to credit and performance risk from customers, hedging counterparties and vendors; failure of NextEra Energy or FPL counterparties to perform under derivative contracts or of requirement for NextEra Energy or FPL to post margin cash collateral under derivative contracts; failure or breach of NextEra Energy's or FPL's information technology systems; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL's retail businesses from compromise of sensitive customer data; losses from volatility in the market values of derivative instruments and limited liquidity in OTC markets; impact of negative publicity; inability of NextEra Energy and FPL to maintain, negotiate or renegotiate acceptable franchise agreements with municipalities and counties in Florida; occurrence of work strikes or stoppages and increasing personnel costs; NextEra Energy's ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate acquisitions, including the effect of increased competition for acquisitions; 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 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 or through expected shutdown; effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets or actions by third parties in connection with project-specific or other financing arrangements 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, 2019 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.