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FPL Energy files application to build new electric transmission in Texas
JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Lone Star Transmission, LLC, a subsidiary of FPL Energy, LLC, today filed an application with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity to establish a new regulated utility business unit to construct, own and operate transmission facilities in Texas. If approved, the project will provide much needed power for the growing Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and other regions throughout Texas.
Under its plan, Lone Star Transmission will build, own and operate a 180-200 mile, high voltage, direct current, open access transmission line to bring renewable energy resources from West Texas to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Dubbed the “DFW Express,” the new transmission line would be constructed with a capacity of 2,000 megawatts and stretch from near Abilene to the Dallas/Fort Worth load center.
“Our proposal to build the DFW Express will enhance the ability to transmit power from West to North Texas and enable continued large-scale development of emission-free wind power in West Texas,” said Mitch Davidson, president of FPL Energy. “The DFW Express proposal will help serve the growing energy needs in the Dallas/Fort Worth load center, while at the same time, minimizing the existing transmission congestion between the regions.”
Texas State Senator Troy Fraser said, “I have long supported the building of transmission and new generation in West Texas, and the DFW Express is a critical first step in ensuring that the state will meet its long-term power needs. I am particularly pleased that FPL Energy is proposing to utilize this innovative technology which will bring more clean, affordable power directly from West Texas to the Dallas/Fort Worth area while maximizing efficiency and minimizing the impact of transmission lines on landowners.”
Texas State Representative Susan King said, “Texans need new, clean power generation resources to meet growing energy demand, and West Texas is an ideal area for growth. The DFW Express proposal, if approved by the Texas PUC, positions West Texas for significant economic development from clean and renewable wind power. The project will create new jobs and add hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure in the region.”
Texas State Representative Marc Veasey said, “The DFW Express proposal, if approved, will bring the Dallas/Fort Worth area significant amounts of emission-free power, thereby enhancing air quality in the region. Although wind power and the DFW Express proposal cannot solve all of our power generation and air quality issues, it can certainly be part of the solution. In addition to the obvious environmental benefits this project will bring, it will also generate a significant amount of new tax revenues for our schools.”
Opening up West Texas to continued wind development through the proposed DFW Express will lead to billions of dollars in capital investments and significant economic development activity throughout the region. In addition, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas will benefit from thousands of additional megawatts of generation capacity. Wind farms can be constructed in a much shorter timeframe than traditional fossil or solid fuel plants, and wind farms have no negative impacts to air or water quality.
High voltage direct current technology offers a number of benefits over high voltage alternating current technology including:
The cost of the DFW Express is expected to be in the range of $635 million to $655 million, and Lone Star Transmission believes the transmission line can be constructed in less than three years from the date a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for the facility is approved by the Texas PUC.
Lone Star Transmission submitted the DFW Express proposal for consideration after reviewing transmission proposals put forth by other parties in the CREZ docket such as the Panhandle Loop Interveners and Electric Transmission Texas.
“The DFW Express proposal is not only innovative in its approach but also flexible enough to compliment the other transmission proposals or work as a stand-alone project,” said Davidson. “The interest shown by FPL Energy and numerous parties to construct transmission facilities in Texas will benefit Texas ratepayers by introducing competition among the various proposals to provide the most cost-effective regional transmission solution.”
With more than 70,000 miles of transmission and distribution facilities in Florida, California and the Northeast, FPL Energy and its affiliated companies have extensive experience and expertise in this field.
FPL Energy, through its subsidiaries, invested nearly $1 billion in Texas in 2006 and currently has 11 wind farms in operation in the state. With a net capacity of more than 1,600 megawatts, the wind plants are capable of generating electricity for more than 400,000 Texas homes. In 2006, the wind farms offset fossil-fueled power generation emissions totaling more than 2.3 million tons of carbon dioxide; more than 5,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and over 2,000 tons of nitrogen oxide that would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere if not for the wind farms.
FPL Energy is a leading competitive energy supplier utilizing clean fuels such as natural gas, wind, solar, hydroelectric and nuclear to generate electricity. It is the nation’s leader in wind energy, with 49 wind facilities in operation in 15 states. It is a subsidiary of FPL Group, (NYSE: FPL) one of the nation's largest providers of electricity-related services with annual revenues of nearly $16 billion. FPL Group's principal subsidiary is Florida Power & Light Company, one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving 4.4 million customer accounts in Florida. Additional information is available at www.FPLEnergy.com, www.FPLGroup.comand www.FPL.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, Inc. (FPL Group) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) are hereby providing cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause FPL Group's or FPL'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 FPL 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 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 or FPL's actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of FPL Group and FPL.
Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and FPL Group and FPL 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 FPL's operations and financial results, and could cause FPL Group's and FPL's actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements:
FPL Group and FPL are subject to complex laws and regulations and to changes in laws and regulations as well as changing governmental policies and regulatory actions, including initiatives regarding deregulation and restructuring of the energy industry and environmental matters. FPL 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 FPL.
The operation and maintenance of power generation facilities, including nuclear facilities, involve significant risks that could adversely affect the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group and FPL.
The construction of, and capital improvements to, power generation facilities involve substantial risks. Should construction or capital improvement efforts be unsuccessful, the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group and FPL could be adversely affected.
The use of derivative contracts by FPL Group and FPL in the normal course of business could result in financial losses that negatively impact the results of operations of FPL Group and FPL.
FPL Group's competitive energy business is subject to risks, many of which are beyond the control of FPL Group, that may reduce the revenues and adversely impact the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group.
FPL Group's ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate acquisitions is subject to significant risks, including the effect of increased competition for acquisitions resulting from the consolidation of the power industry.
Because FPL Group and FPL rely on access to capital markets, the inability to maintain current credit ratings and access capital markets on favorable terms may limit the ability of FPL Group and FPL to grow their businesses and would likely increase interest costs.
Customer growth in FPL's service area affects FPL Group's and FPL's results of operations.
Weather affects FPL Group's and FPL's results of operations.
FPL Group and FPL 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 may impact the operations of FPL Group and FPL in unpredictable ways.
The ability of FPL Group and FPL 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 FPL are subject to employee workforce factors that could affect the businesses and financial condition of FPL Group and FPL.
The risks described herein are not the only risks facing FPL Group and FPL. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to FPL Group or FPL, or that are currently deemed to be immaterial, also may materially adversely affect FPL Group's or FPL's business, financial condition and/or future operating results.