The Building Years: 1945-1960
Historical quote | Post-war boom | Meeting the explosive demand | Financing the growth | Decreasing rates | Changing times
"The tendency to persevere, to persist in spite of hindrances, discouragement and impossibilities, it is this that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak. "
Quote: Plaque that belonged to McGregor Smith, former FPL president.
During the postwar period from 1945-1960, new residents poured into Florida at the rate of 3,000 per week. By 1960, Florida was the 10th most populous state in the Union, compared with its 20th ranking in 1950.
Meeting the explosive demand
Demand for power was so great that FPL quadrupled its generating power by
- building new plants at Palatka, Riviera, Sarasota, Fort Myers and Cutler
- expanding plant facilities at Miami, Sanford and Lauderdale
- leasing a Navy power ship docked at Port Everglades and
- equipping two large railroad cars and trailers with generators and moving them around the state to meet seasonal peak power demands.
Financing the growth
To finance Florida's growing demand for power, FPL joined the New York Stock Exchange in 1950. The following year, the company announced a $435 million, 10-year expansion program that would take it into the 1960s.
In 1957, FPL filed for a $4.4 million rate decrease, the 1st of 11 rate decreases over the next 15 years.
In 1960, FPL built a new unit at Port Everglades with plans for 3 more units - just in time. New residents were coming from all directions, lured by the Space Age from the north and by simple freedom from the south as Cuban exiles hit Miami's shore.