FPL | New Growth: 2000-2009
 

New Growth: 2000-2009

"I believe it's wholly irresponsible and unacceptable for corporate leaders such as those at Enron to say they did not know -- or suggest it was not their duty to know -- about the operations and activities of their company. This is especially so when it comes to risks that threaten the fundamental viability of their company."

Quote: Lew Hay, FPL Group Chairman and CEO, 2002.

Industry and economic challenges

In the first few years of the new century, a range of challenges bore down on the electric industry, including FPL Group:

  • The California energy debacle, followed by warnings of a national power shortage, then fear of a glut of generating capacity in most regional markets.
  • The collapse of Enron and other companies, raising serious concerns about business ethics and financial integrity.
  • Economic recession and toughening of credit and credit rating standards.
  • Changing federal rules about how transmission assets should be structured and managed.
  • Changing rules governing pricing in "unregulated" markets.
  • The tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.
  • Continued volatility in market prices for oil and natural gas, key fuels used in generating electricity.
  • New federal energy legislation, with important provisions related to wind energy, nuclear power, energy conservation and industry structure.

New ways to manage

FPL Group responded with initiatives that included:
  • improving commercial skills and pioneering new ways to do business
  • streamlining operations and lowering costs
  • improving customer focus, service and responsiveness,
  • growing its wind power and nuclear power businesses and achieving greater fuel diversity in key regional markets,
  • maintaining a corporate governance structure and financial reporting process that reflect the best practices in the industry.

In recognition of our achievements in clean energy production, environmental excellence, customer satisfaction and shareholder value, FPL Group was named the 2003 winner of the Edison Award, the electric industry's highest honor.

 


Edison Award presented to FPL Group in June 2003

New plants

FPL added its 4 millionth customer in 2002 and continued to be one of the nation's fastest-growing electric utilities, adding new state-of-the-art efficient power plants to meet our customers' growing demand for electricity:

  • More than 1,000 megawatts of generation were added to FPL's system in 2002 with the completion of the Fort Myers repowering project and the first half of the Sanford repowering project. Both facilities are powered with clean-burning natural gas.
  • An additional 1,900 megawatts entered service at the Manatee and Martin plants in 2005.
  • A new natural gas-fired power generating unit was added at the site of our Turkey Point power plants south of Miami. The new unit began serving some 230,000 Florida homes and businesses beginning in 2007.

 


Rendering of Manatee Power Plant expansion in Parrish, Fla.

New programs

FPL also sharpened its focus on improving customer satisfaction and continuing its commitment to quality and reliability with progressive measures such as:

  • Providing expanded services on its Web site, www.fpl.com. Customers were given the ability to receive and pay their electric bill, connect or disconnect service, access useful energy information such as an online home energy audit, and more.
  • Offering a variety of conservation and load management programs to help customers hold down their energy costs. These programs have avoided the need to build numerous additional power plants.
  • Initiating Tech 21, a program to implement high-tech information and management systems to improve service to customers. One of these systems, for example, provided an automated phone line for customers to call to find out why an outage occurred and when their power will be restored.
  • Supporting development of new electric technologies.

Reasonable rates

In 2002, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a $1 billion rate reduction for FPL customers through 2005. The agreement built upon a similar three-year, $1 billion rate decrease in 1999 - the largest in Florida history at the time.

In August 2005, the PSC approved a new rate agreement ensuring that base electric rates for FPL customers would not increase through 2006.

As FPL prepared for the challenges that lie ahead, the company continued to deliver quality products and services at reasonable prices.

Disciplined growth beyond Florida

During this period, FPL Energy grew to become  one of the largest developers and operators of wind energy in the world, and an industry leader in the production of nuclear energy.

In 2002, FPL Energy  acquired a controlling interest in one of the nation's newest nuclear power plants, Seabrook Station in New Hampshire. In 2005, it completed a purchase of a majority interest in the Duane Arnold Energy Center, a nuclear plant in Iowa, and in 2007 the Point Beach nuclear plant in Wisconsin was acquired. Seabrook, Duane Arnold and Point Beach plants have excellent safety records and are focused on reliable operation. These three facilities have excellent safety records and are focused on reliable operation.    FPL FiberNet, a subsidiary formed in 2000, delivers wholesale and enterprise telecommunications services throughout most major metropolitan areas in Florida and Texas with additional connectivity to Georgia, New York, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. FPL FiberNet is the broadband provider of choice for large financial and healthcare institutions, professional service companies, as well as the education and government sector. In addition, FPL FiberNet provides network access for the largest wireless carriers in the nation.

Hurricanes of 2004-05

Powerful hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 devastated large parts of FPL’s 27,000 square mile service area, wreaking widespread damage and disrupting electric service to more than five million homes and businesses. Over a period of many years, the company had refined an action plan to quickly rebuild and restore stricken areas in the aftermath of storms. This plan was implemented during the storms of 2004 and 2005 and continues to be refined.

Plant modernizations

Beginning in 2008, FPL has been investing in modernizing three 1960s-era, oil- and gas-fired power plants into high-efficiency, natural gas-fired energy centers that will be approximately 33 percent more efficient and 90 percent cleaner than the facilities they replace. The Cape Canaveral Next Generation Clean Energy Center began serving customers in 2013, and a similar facility in Riviera Beach, Fla., came online in 2014. The third modernized power plant, in Broward County, is expected to be completed in 2016.