FPL Proposes Six Wind Turbines on Company-Owned Land
JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company announced today that it is proposing to build six wind turbines on FPL property in St. Lucie County to expand the use of renewable energy in the state.
“What we’ve heard consistently from the residents and commissioners of St. Lucie County is that they share our commitment to renewable energy but don’t want to use public lands for wind turbines,” said Eric Silagy, FPL’s vice president of development. “We hope that by removing this obstacle we can continue progress on a project that helps meet the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and St. Lucie County’s goal of becoming a renewable energy leader.”
Last June, FPL and St. Lucie County announced plans to explore building a wind power project as part of the company’s effort to expand renewable energy projects in the state. Based on years of wind data from the site, FPL’s new proposal for up to six turbines on its own property is expected to generate nearly 22 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually with zero carbon dioxide emissions. That’s enough to provide electricity to more than 3,600 people while removing the carbon-equivalent of 2,600 cars from the road, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Every kilowatt of energy we produce from renewable sources is a kilowatt that doesn’t have to be produced by burning fossil fuels,” said Silagy.
The proposal for six wind turbines would produce clean energy for FPL customers at a reasonable cost. Over the life of the project, FPL expects the additional cost of the energy produced to be 3 cents per month for the average customer.
FPL Group, the parent company of FPL, is the nation’s No. 1 producer of renewable energy from wind and solar. Through its experience developing wind farms across the United States and advances in technology, FPL Group has dramatically enhanced the efficiency of its wind facilities. With the planned six turbines, the company can now generate as much electricity as a 138-turbine farm could 20 years ago.
In addition to its environmental benefits, FPL estimates that its $45 million investment in the St. Lucie wind project will generate an average $4.6 million in economic activity per year in the county. The project will also produce up to 75 construction jobs and an estimated $3.5 million in additional property and sales tax revenue in its first year.
The next step in the process is for FPL to amend its height-amendment, zoning and permitting applications to remove the three turbines at Blind Creek. The Board of Commissioners would have to approve the applications for the project to move forward. “We’d like the project to get a fair hearing before the commissioners,” said Silagy. “Wind power is safe, clean, and economical—after the turbines are built, the fuel is free. That’s why wind power is growing exponentially across the United States and why we think it should be carefully considered for St. Lucie County.”
In the course of the public discussion over wind turbines in St. Lucie County, a number of questions and issues have been raised that merit elaboration. Among them:
The costs and benefits of the project and the role of federal tax credits.
The proposal for six wind turbines would produce clean energy for FPL customers at a reasonable cost. Over the life of the project, FPL expects the cost of the energy produced to be 2.7 cents per month for the average customer. Wind is also the most economical form of renewable energy in St. Lucie County. The St. Lucie project will deliver nearly 22 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually on a $45 million investment. A six-turbine wind farm today can produce as much electricity as a 138-turbine wind farm could 20 years ago. The federal tax credit for wind projects only applies if the turbines are actually producing energy; 100 percent of the benefit goes to FPL’s customers. Congress created the tax credit to promote clean, renewable wind energy and make it more competitive with coal and other forms of fossil fuel power generation.
The proximity of the proposed turbines to the St. Lucie nuclear plant.
Nuclear safety is of paramount importance to FPL. As such, FPL simply will not construct any turbine that poses a risk to our nuclear plant.
The impact of wind turbines on birds.
Wind turbines are safer for birds than buildings, cars, cats and other accepted parts of our lives. For every 10,000 bird deaths in the U.S. caused by human activity, less than one is caused by a wind turbine. As always, FPL is committed to working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to ensure the wind turbines are as safe as possible.
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 over $15 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.