JUNO BEACH, Fla., April 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company, Veterans Florida and numerous advocacy organizations and businesses today announced a new partnership designed to link U.S. military veterans with careers in solar energy development in Florida.
Florida is home to 20 military installations and more than 1.5 million veterans, and in collaboration with our partners, FPL plans to conduct educational outreach across all branches of the military to increase awareness of growing opportunities in solar energy in Florida – including the construction of new FPL solar sites, which is expected to employ more than 1,500 people in 2017 at locations throughout Florida in various roles, including equipment operators, electricians and general laborers.
"We're thrilled to team up with FPL to help connect veterans with potential jobs in solar energy," said Jim Bagby, chairman of the board of directors of Veterans Florida, a non-profit corporation created by the state to help veterans transition to civilian life in Florida. "High-tech fields like renewable energy are fast-growing in Florida, and we're committed to helping veterans prepare for their next careers. Construction of a universal solar power plant can be a great opportunity for veterans looking to transition into civilian life. By gaining on-the-job experience and taking advantage of additional training that's not being offered elsewhere, veterans in Florida can get a leg up on their future."
Interested veterans can visit www.VeteransFlorida.org/solar for information about solar job openings, job fairs and training opportunities as they become available.
"FPL and the entire NextEra Energy team take great pride in our commitment to supporting our nation's veterans who have given so selflessly in recent years," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "Through this partnership, we now have a unique opportunity to expand upon that commitment by connecting these American heroes with jobs and educational opportunities right here at home in America's growing renewable energy industry."
FPL recently announced plans to build nearly 2,100 megawatts of new solar in Florida in the coming years. Based on the technology currently being installed, this amount of new solar would translate into the installation of nearly 9 million solar panels, which, laid end to end, would stretch from Miami to Sydney, Australia – almost half way around the world.
FPL and its parent company, NextEra Energy Inc., have a long history of successfully recruiting veterans. Currently, FPL and other NextEra Energy subsidiaries directly employ more than 2,000 military veterans and indirectly support countless more through billions of dollars in major infrastructure projects throughout the United States.
"Through this effort, veterans will have the opportunity to play an exciting role in the development of some of the largest universal solar energy centers ever constructed in the eastern United States," said Matt Valle, FPL's vice president of development and a former U.S. Navy nuclear submarine officer. "It is our sincere hope that our collective efforts will result in a meaningful pathway for veterans looking to transition to a career in the renewable energy industry."
Over the course of the next year, construction at new FPL solar facilities is expected to employ more than 1,500 people. The bulk of the hiring at each site will be conducted by Blattner Energy and OCI – two of the nation's premier providers of renewable energy engineering, procurement and construction services – to build the new universal solar projects. Construction is expected to begin this month, and hiring will ramp up through the spring.
In addition, as part of the partnership, FPL is working with Indian River State College (IRSC) to create cutting-edge training and coursework in solar energy. While the courses will be open to public enrollment, interested veterans can visit www.VeteransFlorida.org to find out about federal educational assistance programs that may help them cover the cost of course fees.
"FPL and IRSC have been collaborating since 2006 to implement a highly successful Electrical Power Technology degree program, preparing graduates for excellent jobs," said Dr. Kevin Cooper, dean of advanced technology at IRSC. "The solar offerings we are now creating will offer the chance to learn about an evolving, growing field, and that's important for the future of our economy."
Additionally, IRSC will host a job fair on April 12, 2017, at its main campus in Ft. Pierce, Fla., with support from members of the solar veterans partnership.
Founding members of the partnership include:
More information about solar in Florida and FPL's solar investments
Florida ranks ninth in the nation for solar resource – the strength of the sun's rays – making it a great place for solar. In 2016, FPL became the first company to build solar cost-effectively in Florida, leveraging its purchasing power and sites with key advantages to complete three new universal solar power plants that are projected to result in net savings for FPL customers.
Today, FPL operates more than 335 megawatts of solar generating capacity with plans to build nearly 2,100 megawatts of new universal solar in Florida in 2017 through 2023, including approximately 600 megawatts in development at eight confirmed sites that are expected to begin operating by early 2018.
Major announced sites in development and completed installations include:
Note: The list above does not include universal solar being developed for 2019 through 2023 for which sites and other details have not yet been finalized.
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
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving approximately 4.9 million customer accounts or an estimated 10 million people across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 25 percent lower than the latest national average and, in 2016, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the seventh year in a row. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company received the top ranking in the southern U.S. among large electric providers, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM, and was recognized in 2016 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International. 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 2017 list of "World's Most Admired Companies." NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
Veterans Florida is a non-profit corporation created by the State of Florida to help veterans fully transition to civilian life in the Sunshine State. It connects veterans to employers, grant funds to employers to hire and train veterans, and educate veterans on how to open their own businesses in the Florida. Because veterans often times need more than employment assistance, Veterans Florida built a network of veteran service providers throughout the state to assist veterans with services such as housing, benefits, legal and other needs. For more information, visit www.VeteransFlorida.org.
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 future operating performance. 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 other 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 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, cyber attacks 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 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; 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; NextEra Energy Partners, LP's (NEP's) acquisitions may not be completed and, even if completed, NextEra Energy may not realize the anticipated benefits of any 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 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