JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company today proposed making nuclear power a bigger part of Florida’s energy future. In the first step toward building two new nuclear power units at its Turkey Point generating complex, FPL filed its plans with the Florida Public Service Commission.
FPL’s nuclear power expansion proposals, which place the utility at the forefront of new nuclear projects nationwide, are designed to meet its customers’ rapidly growing demand for emission-free electric power and protect Florida’s environment.
“Additional nuclear energy can help supply reliable, affordable power to our customers while avoiding greenhouse gas emissions that scientists have determined contribute to climate change,” said Armando Olivera, FPL’s President. “Nuclear power helps to meet Governor Charlie Crist’s goals for reducing emissions and diversifying our fuel sources.”
Today’s filing, seeking what is called a determination of need by the Public Service Commission (PSC), was the first step in obtaining formal approval from state regulators to construct the two additional units at FPL’s existing Turkey Point nuclear power complex by 2020. This project would add between 2,200 and 3,000 megawatts of emission-free capacity to the company’s generating fleet and would produce enough energy each year to power the needs of over 1 million residential customers.
In 2006, FPL advised the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it intended to file a license application for adding new nuclear power capacity to its system, and in August of this year the company outlined its nuclear proposals at a PSC workshop on the state’s future energy needs.
Last month, FPL asked the PSC to approve a more than 400-megawatt expansion of the company’s existing nuclear generating facilities at Turkey Point and St. Lucie. This expansion, expected to be completed by 2012, would avoid emissions of approximately 1 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.
If approved and built, the two new nuclear power facilities – designated Turkey Point Units 6 and 7 – would help diversify the company’s fuel mix, add an important source of clean energy to its portfolio and balance the increasing demand for energy with sound environmental practices. Nuclear energy produces zero carbon dioxide emissions, and the new units proposed by FPL would avoid putting more than 7 million tons of carbon dioxide per year into the air that would otherwise be generated if the company had proposed building fossil fuel plants. Final official approval of the proposed facilities must be given by the governor and his cabinet.
Nuclear power today provides 20 percent of the energy needs of FPL’s customers while producing no greenhouse gas emissions. FPL, which now serves 4.5 million customers in 35 counties, must increase its electrical generation capacity by nearly 33 percent to meet projected growth in electricity demand between 2011 and 2020. FPL’s aggressive energy management programs, including incentives to promote increased conservation and efficiency, are expected to meet approximately 25 percent of demand over the next decade. FPL also plans to add renewable energy sources to its generating portfolio during the next several years.
These actions alone, however, will not meet the expected growth in energy demand. To ensure a reliable and cost-effective supply of clean electricity to customers, the company also must add new sources of generating capacity – such as nuclear power – that can provide energy around the clock. This is known as base load capacity in the electric power industry.
FPL and its parent company, FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL), have a long history of promoting clean energy and taking environmental issues seriously. A national leader in wind and solar power, FPL Group recently announced a $2.4 billion investment initiative, $1.5 billion of which will be invested in building 500 megawatts of solar thermal energy capacity in Florida and outside the state. FPL plans to start with a 10-megawatt solar thermal demonstration facility in Florida. Subject to meeting agreed-upon cost and technical specifications, as well as gaining regulatory and related approvals, FPL’s solar thermal capacity will be expanded to 300 megawatts. This new facility is expected to avoid nearly 11 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions over a 20-year period.
FPL Group’s solar thermal announcement was made at the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York City. Former President Bill Clinton, joined by FPL Group Chairman and CEO Lew Hay and Florida Governor Charlie Crist, unveiled the new investment plan.
FPL supports Governor Crist’s vision to boost the use of renewable energy in Florida and cut greenhouse gas emissions. As part of its efforts to increase renewable energy capacity, FPL will soon open the state’s largest photovoltaic solar power facility in Sarasota County and is planning to test wind turbines next year at another site along the Atlantic coast.
“By embracing new solar technology and proposing additional nuclear power, we are making clear progress in helping Florida address global warming,” said Olivera. “And nuclear power also can help our customers by dampening any future sharp price swings in fossil fuel costs and enhancing energy security.”
FPL’s filing with the PSC today represents one step in a process that will take ten years or more. Before FPL makes a final decision to build these new nuclear units, it will be involved in wide-ranging discussions and consultations with local residents and governments and must obtain approvals from several state and federal agencies, including licensing approval and oversight by the federal government’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The company and the PSC also will evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the project at every stage.
For more information about FPL’s nuclear power program, visit www.fpl.com, highlight Electricity & Our Environment and click on Nuclear Power Serves You.
Florida Power & Light Company is the principal subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL), nationally known as a high quality, efficient and customer-driven organization focused on energy-related products and services. With annual revenues of nearly $16 billion and a growing presence in 27 states, FPL Group is widely recognized as one of the country's premier power companies. Florida Power & Light Company serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, FPL Group's competitive energy subsidiary is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.FPL.com, www.FPLGroup.com and www.FPLEnergy.com.