JUNO BEACH, Fla. – FPL Group, Inc., (NYSE: FPL) one of the country’s leading generators of renewable electric power, today announced a $2.4 billion investment program aimed at increasing U.S. solar thermal energy output and reducing carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.
FPL Group, and its subsidiaries Florida Power & Light and FPL Energy, announced the following three initiatives today:
“These new investments, coupled with our recent announcement to invest an estimated $20 billion in new wind generation, demonstrate FPL Group’s continued commitment to improve the environment and reaffirm our leadership position among U.S. utilities to combat global warming,” said Lew Hay, chairman and CEO of FPL Group.
Former President Bill Clinton announced FPL Group’s new commitments at today’s session of the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, an event that fosters shared commitment by individuals, businesses and governments to confront major world issues and achieve real change.
“We at FPL Group are proud of our leadership position in clean energy and are pleased to take yet another step towards helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Hay. “We thank President Clinton for challenging leaders throughout the world to address energy and climate change issues, and we are pleased that we can respond to his call with action.
“We also are deeply honored that Florida Governor Charlie Crist joined us in person today to receive this recognition at the Clinton Global Initiative Forum. Gov. Crist is providing great leadership in our state in addressing climate change,” said Hay.
Florida Power & Light to build new solar thermal facility
One of the country’s largest electric utilities, FPL is planning to build 300 megawatts of solar generating capacity in Florida using Ausra, Inc.’s solar thermal technology. According to estimates, this new facility will avoid nearly 11 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions over a 20-year period. As a first step, FPL expects to construct a 10-megawatt project. Subject to Ausra meeting agreed-upon cost and technical specifications, as well as FPL gaining regulatory and related approvals, the utility will expand the project to a 300-megawatt facility.
Florida Power & Light to create smart network
In a second initiative, FPL said it plans to invest up to $500 million to install a smart network utilizing state-of-the-art technology in the 35 Florida counties it serves.
This new program will allow customers to view their energy consumption online every day. Real-time understanding of energy use means real-time opportunities to conserve. Smart meters installed at residences and businesses will offer customers the chance to cut power bills and lower electricity demand.
At the same time, FPL will be able to use this new smart network to develop better energy management programs. The combination of improved energy management and lower electricity demand from customers means that FPL will be able to reduce the volume of fossil fuels burned, thus cutting carbon dioxide emissions even more.
FPL Energy to launch renewable energy education and consumer participation program
In a third initiative, FPL Energy plans to launch a nationwide renewable energy program early next year that will allow residential and business customers to take an active role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing new sources of renewable energy. This project is expected to generate revenues of about $400 million during its first five years of operation, and 100 percent of these revenues will be used to develop new capacity in renewable energy.
Under this program, consumers will be able to purchase products associated with Renewable Energy Credits (REC) generated by FPL Energy’s renewable energy facilities. By doing so, participants will be able to help offset their own carbon footprints.
The program will be supported by a national educational effort that will explain how our products work and how purchasing them will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
FPL Group building on clean energy leadership position
These new programs will build on FPL Group’s long-standing commitment to improve the environment, and represent important additions to the company’s clean energy portfolio.
FPL Group’s competitive energy supplier subsidiary, FPL Energy, has many years of experience in solar power. It owns and operates the world’s largest solar thermal fields, located in the Mojave Desert. FPL Energy also is the country’s largest generator of wind power, with 52 wind facilities in 16 states.
In July, FPL Energy made another major decision aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, unveiling a $20 billion plan to triple its nearly 4,500-megawatt wind generating capacity. The company expects to add between 8,000 and 10,000 megawatts of wind energy by the end of 2012.
FPL is also a leader in energy conservation and efficiency
Department of Energy data show that FPL is No. 1 in energy conservation programs among U.S. electric utilities and No. 4 in energy efficiency programs.
FPL Group’s 36,000-megawatt power generation fleet has one of the lowest carbon dioxide emission rates in the country. For example, if the rest of the electric utility industry were generating electricity with the same carbon dioxide emissions rate per megawatt hour as FPL Group, the U.S. would be able to meet its Kyoto target for total carbon emissions without any emissions reductions from other sectors.
FPL Group’s CEO Hay is a strong advocate for a mandatory, nationwide policy to place a price on greenhouse gases. He advocates a carbon fee, calling it the most efficient and effective manner to slow, stop and eventually reduce carbon emissions. A copy of FPL Group’s proposed carbon fee policy can be obtained on www.fplgroup.com.
FPL Group, with annual revenues of nearly $16 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 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, an FPL Group competitive energy 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
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's and FPL'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 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.