FPL Energy completes purchase of majority interest in Duane Arnold Energy Center
JUNO BEACH, Fla. -- FPL Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL) announced today the completion of the purchase of a majority interest in the Duane Arnold Energy Center, a nuclear power plant located about 15 miles northwest of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, from Interstate Power and Light (IPL) a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corp. (NYSE: LNT).
FPL Energy Duane Arnold, LLC, a subsidiary of FPL Energy, purchased IPL’s 70 percent interest in the Duane Arnold Energy Center for a total of approximately $373 million, including nuclear fuel, inventory and other items. The purchase price for the Duane Arnold Energy Center was subject to various adjustments at closing. All of the power from FPL Energy Duane Arnold’s share of the Duane Arnold Energy Center is being sold under a long-term contract to IPL.
“We are excited to complete this transaction and add the Duane Arnold Energy Center to our growing power generation portfolio,” said Jim Robo, president of FPL Energy. “Duane Arnold provides us with a low-cost, base load generation source in the Midwest that is complementary to our existing wind assets in the region. We look forward to furthering our business relationships in Iowa and are committed to being a good neighbor and a strong, long-term energy partner.”
FPL Energy Duane Arnold is scheduled to file for a license extension for the plant in 2009, which, if approved, will enable the plant to continue to operate for an additional 20 years beyond its current license expiration of 2014.
FPL Energy Duane Arnold said it expects staffing at the facility to increase by approximately 10 percent over time, and to make significant capital investments to ensure the long-term safe and reliable operation of the plant.
Central Iowa Power Cooperative and Corn Belt Power Cooperative currently own 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively, of the plant.
The addition of Duane Arnold nearly doubles FPL Energy’s power generation in the Midwest. The company currently operates, through subsidiaries, nearly 500 megawatts of wind power throughout the region. FPL Energy’s existing wind projects are located in Cerro Gordo and Hancock County, Iowa; Iowa County, Wisconsin; Pipestone and Lincoln County, Minnesota; LaMoure County, North Dakota; Hyde County, South Dakota and Gray County, Kansas.
FPL Energy currently operates and owns, through subsidiaries, a majority interest in the 1,220 megawatt Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in New Hampshire. FPL Group’s other subsidiary, Florida Power & Light Company, operates four nuclear units in Florida at two sites, Turkey Point and St. Lucie, representing 1,386 megawatts and 1,678 megawatts, respectively.
FPL Group, with annual revenues of more than $10 billion, is nationally known as a high-quality, efficient, and customer-driven organization focused on energy-related products and services. With a growing presence in 26 states, it is widely recognized as one of the country's premier power companies. Its principal subsidiary, Florida Power & Light Company, serves 4.3 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, an FPL Group energy-generating subsidiary, is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.FPLGroup.com, www.FPL.com andwww.FPLEnergy.com.
This communication is not a solicitation of a proxy from any security holder of FPL Group or Constellation Energy. Constellation Energy intends to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission a registration statement that will include a joint proxy statement/prospectus of Constellation Energy and FPL Group and other relevant documents to be mailed to security holders in connection with the proposed transaction. WE URGE INVESTORS TO READ THE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE, BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT FPL GROUP, CONSTELLATION ENERGY, AND THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION.
A definitive proxy statement will be sent to security holders of FPL Group and Constellation Energy seeking approval of the proposed transaction. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain these materials (when they are available) and other documents filed with the SEC free of charge at the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov. In addition, a copy of the joint proxy statement/prospectus (when it becomes available) may be obtained free of charge from Constellation Energy, Shareholder Services, 750 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, or from FPL Group, Shareholder Services, P.O. Box 14000, 700 Universe Blvd., Juno Beach, Florida 33408-0420.
This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such jurisdiction. No offering of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
FPL Group, Constellation Energy, and their respective directors and executive officers and other persons may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed transaction. Information regarding FPL Group’s directors and executive officers is available in its proxy statement filed with the SEC by FPL Group on April 5, 2005, and information regarding Constellation Energy’s directors and executive officers is available in its proxy statement filed with the SEC by Constellation Energy on April 13, 2005. Information regarding J. Brian Ferguson, a director of FPL Group elected since the date of the filing of the 2005 definitive proxy statement, can be found in FPL Group’s filing on Form 10-Q dated August 4, 2005. Other information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in the joint proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC when they become available.
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, Inc. and its subsidiaries (FPL Group) is hereby providing cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause FPL Group'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 in this press release, in presentations, on its website, in response to questions or otherwise. Any statements that express, or involve discussions as to, expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, through the use of words or phrases such as will likely result, are expected to, will continue, is anticipated, believe, could, estimated, may, plan, potential, projection, target, outlook) 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 actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of FPL Group.
Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and FPL Group undertakes 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 operations and financial results, and could cause FPL Group's actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements:
- FPL Group is subject to changes in laws or regulations, including the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, as amended (PURPA), the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, as amended (Holding Company Act), the Federal Power Act, the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and certain sections of the Florida statutes relating to public utilities, changing governmental policies and regulatory actions, including those of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) and the utility commissions of other states in which FPL Group has operations, and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), with respect to, among other things, allowed rates of return, industry and rate structure, operation of nuclear power facilities, operation and construction of plant facilities, operation and construction of transmission facilities, acquisition, disposal, depreciation and amortization of assets and facilities, recovery of fuel and purchased power costs, decommissioning costs, return on common equity (ROE) and equity ratio limits, and present or prospective wholesale and retail competition (including but not limited to retail wheeling and transmission costs). The FPSC has the authority to disallow recovery by Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) of any and all costs that it considers excessive or imprudently incurred.
- The regulatory process generally restricts FPL's ability to grow earnings and does not provide any assurance as to achievement of earnings levels.
- FPL Group is subject to extensive federal, state and local environmental statutes, rules and regulations relating to air quality, water quality, waste management, wildlife mortality, natural resources and health and safety that could, among other things, restrict or limit the output of certain facilities or the use of certain fuels required for the production of electricity and/or require additional pollution control equipment and otherwise increase costs. There are significant capital, operating and other costs associated with compliance with these environmental statutes, rules and regulations, and those costs could be even more significant in the future.
- FPL Group operates in a changing market environment influenced by various legislative and regulatory initiatives regarding deregulation, regulation or restructuring of the energy industry, including deregulation of the production and sale of electricity. FPL Group and its subsidiaries will need to adapt to these changes and may face increasing competitive pressure.
- FPL Group's results of operations could be affected by FPL's ability to renegotiate franchise agreements with municipalities and counties in Florida.
- The operation of power generation facilities involves many risks, including start up risks, breakdown or failure of equipment, transmission lines or pipelines, use of new technology, the dependence on a specific fuel source, including the supply and transportation of fuel, or the impact of unusual or adverse weather conditions (including natural disasters such as hurricanes), as well as the risk of performance below expected or contracted levels of output or efficiency. This could result in lost revenues and/or increased expenses. Insurance, warranties or performance guarantees may not cover any or all of the lost revenues or increased expenses, including the cost of replacement power. In addition to these risks, FPL Group's nuclear units face certain risks that are unique to the nuclear industry including the ability to store and/or dispose of spent nuclear fuel, as well as additional regulatory actions up to and including shutdown of the units stemming from public safety concerns, whether at FPL Group's plants, or at the plants of other nuclear operators. Breakdown or failure of an FPL Energy, LLC (FPL Energy) operating facility may prevent the facility from performing under applicable power sales agreements which, in certain situations, could result in termination of the agreement or incurring a liability for liquidated damages.
- FPL Group's ability to successfully and timely complete its power generation facilities currently under construction, those projects yet to begin construction or capital improvements to existing facilities within established budgets is contingent upon many variables and subject to substantial risks. Should any such efforts be unsuccessful, FPL Group could be subject to additional costs, termination payments under committed contracts, and/or the write-off of its investment in the project or improvement.
- FPL Group uses derivative instruments, such as swaps, options, futures and forwards, to manage their commodity and financial market risks, and, to a lesser extent, engage in limited trading activities. FPL Group could recognize financial losses as a result of volatility in the market values of these contracts, or if a counterparty fails to perform. In the absence of actively quoted market prices and pricing information from external sources, the valuation of these derivative instruments involves management's judgment or use of estimates. As a result, changes in the underlying assumptions or use of alternative valuation methods could affect the reported fair value of these contracts. In addition, FPL's use of such instruments could be subject to prudency challenges and if found imprudent, cost recovery could be disallowed by the FPSC.
- There are other risks associated with FPL Energy. In addition to risks discussed elsewhere, risk factors specifically affecting FPL Energy's success in competitive wholesale markets include the ability to efficiently develop and operate generating assets, the successful and timely completion of project restructuring activities, maintenance of the qualifying facility status of certain projects, the price and supply of fuel (including transportation), transmission constraints, competition from new sources of generation, excess generation capacity and demand for power. There can be significant volatility in market prices for fuel and electricity, and there are other financial, counterparty and market risks that are beyond the control of FPL Energy. FPL Energy's inability or failure to effectively hedge its assets or positions against changes in commodity prices, interest rates, counterparty credit risk or other risk measures could significantly impair FPL Group's future financial results. In keeping with industry trends, a portion of FPL Energy's power generation facilities operate wholly or partially without long-term power purchase agreements. As a result, power from these facilities is sold on the spot market or on a short-term contractual basis, which may affect the volatility of FPL Group's financial results. In addition, FPL Energy's business depends upon transmission facilities owned and operated by others; if transmission is disrupted or capacity is inadequate or unavailable, FPL Energy's ability to sell and deliver its wholesale power may be limited.
- FPL Group is likely to encounter significant competition for acquisition opportunities that may become available as a result of the consolidation of the power industry, in general, as well as the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. In addition, FPL Group may be unable to identify attractive acquisition opportunities at favorable prices and to successfully and timely complete and integrate them.
- FPL Group relies on access to capital markets as a significant source of liquidity for capital requirements not satisfied by operating cash flows. The inability of FPL Group, FPL Group Capital Inc (FPL Group Capital) and FPL to maintain their current credit ratings could affect their ability to raise capital on favorable terms, particularly during times of uncertainty in the capital markets, which, in turn, could impact FPL Group's ability to grow its businesses and would likely increase interest costs.
- FPL Group’s results of operations are affected by the growth in customer accounts in FPL’s service area. Customer growth can be affected by population growth as well as economic factors in Florida , including job and income growth, housing starts and new home prices. Customer growth directly influences the demand for electricity and the need for additional power generation and power delivery facilities at FPL.
- FPL Group's results of operations are affected by changes in the weather. Weather conditions directly influence the demand for electricity and natural gas and affect the price of energy commodities, and can affect the production of electricity at wind and hydro-powered facilities.
- FPL Group’s results of operations can be affected by the impact of severe weather which can be destructive, causing outages and property damage, may affect fuel supply and could require additional costs to be incurred. At FPL, recovery of these costs is subject to FPSC approval.
- FPL Group is subject to costs and other effects of legal and administrative proceedings, settlements, investigations and claims, as well as the effect of new, or changes in, tax laws, rates or policies, rates of inflation, accounting standards, securities laws or corporate governance requirements.
- FPL Group is subject to direct and indirect effects of terrorist threats and activities. Generation and transmission facilities, in general, have been identified as potential targets. The effects of terrorist threats and activities include, among other things, terrorist actions or responses to such actions or threats, the inability to generate, purchase or transmit power, the risk of a significant slowdown in growth or a decline in the U.S. economy, delay in economic recovery in the United States, and the increased cost and adequacy of security and insurance.
- FPL Group's ability to obtain insurance, and the cost of and coverage provided by such insurance, could be affected by national, state or local events as well as company-specific events.
- FPL Group is subject to employee workforce factors, including loss or retirement of key executives, availability of qualified personnel, collective bargaining agreements with union employees and work stoppage.
The issues and associated risks and uncertainties described above are not the only ones FPL Group may face. Additional issues may arise or become material as the energy industry evolves. The risks and uncertainties associated with these additional issues could impair FPL Group's businesses and financial results in the future.