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FPL Energy's California wind farms have positive environmental and economic impact
JUNO BEACH, Fla. -- FPL Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of FPL Group (NYSE: FPL) said today that it’s wind farms continue to help meet the growing need for pollution-free electricity in California while providing new economic opportunities for local communities and the state.
FPL Energy, through its subsidiaries, currently has 15 wind farms in operation in California, with a gross capacity of nearly 800 megawatts, capable of generating electricity for more than 238,000 homes. In 2005, the wind farms offset generation emissions totaling more then 509,000 tons of carbon dioxide; approximately 475 tons of sulfur dioxide and nearly 600 tons of nitrogen oxide that would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere if not for the wind farms.
“FPL Energy leads the way in California with the development and operation of clean, renewable wind energy,” said Bryan Fennell, vice president of business management for FPL Energy. “Wind is a clean, renewable source of energy that emits no pollutants into the air or water, has a minimal impact on the local infrastructure and contributes to the economic well-being of local communities. We believe wind power can play a larger role in diversifying the fuel supply and reducing power plant emissions in California.”
Although a wind farm may be built across many acres, the wind towers and gravel access roads use very little acreage, leaving the land surrounding the wind towers available for other uses by the landowners. California’s wind farms are built primarily on crop and grazing land. These activities continue on the land leased to FPL Energy’s companies by California landowners.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the 15 wind farms have had a significant economic impact in the state. In 2005 these 15 wind projects provided a cumulative direct economic impact to California of more than $31.5 million in the form of state and local taxes, salaries, lease payments and locally purchased goods and services.
Nationwide, FPL Energy's fleet of wind turbines generated nearly 7.3 million megawatt hours of electricity in 2005. Together the 44 wind projects offset approximately 4.9 million tons of carbon dioxide, more than 13,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and nearly 9,000 tons of nitrogen oxides and had a cumulative direct economic impact of more than $80 million.