JUNO BEACH, Fla. – The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) took a positive step toward securing the state’s clean energy future with its approval today of plans to build two nuclear power units at Florida Power & Light Company’s Turkey Point generating complex in Miami-Dade County, FPL President Armando Olivera said.
The PSC approved the additional nuclear plants and specifically agreed that FPL should proceed with making “reservation payments” on a key piece of equipment with long advance ordering requirements.
“This is a critical first step toward securing Florida’s future with additional energy that is safe, reliable, cost-efficient and clean. Additional nuclear generation will help us achieve Gov. Crist’s goal of reducing the carbon emissions that scientists have determined contribute to climate change, and will protect customers from supply disruptions and unpredictable prices that can result from being too dependent on a single fuel source,” Olivera said.
FPL is pursuing the option of constructing two advanced-design nuclear plants at Turkey Point that would add between 2,200 and 3,000 megawatts. If built, the units are expected to go into service in the years 2018 and 2020. FPL has safely operated two existing nuclear plants at Turkey Point for 35 years.
FPL, which 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. The two advanced-design nuclear plants would generate enough power to supply the needs of more than 1 million residential customers.
If constructed, Turkey Point Units 6 and 7, as the new units will be known, will also diversify FPL’s fuel mix, which currently consists of 50 percent natural gas. Fuel diversity helps protect customers from price spikes that can result from being overly dependent on a single fuel source.
Over the long term, operating expenses for nuclear plants are projected to be much lower than expenses for fossil-fuel plants, despite higher initial investment costs. For example, between January 2000 and July 2007, FPL’s existing nuclear units saved customers $8.7 billion in fuel costs compared to natural gas and oil.
Additional nuclear generation will also help Florida address global climate change. For example, the two proposed units will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 7 million tons per year relative to fossil fuel plants. Reducing carbon emissions by 7 millions tons is the equivalent of removing nearly 1.2 million cars from the road, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
FPL and its parent company, FPL Group, have a long history of promoting clean energy and sound environmental practices. FPL Group is the nation’s No. 1 producer of renewable energy from wind and solar. FPL operates the state’s largest photovoltaic solar power facility and has the nation’s No. 1 energy conservation program, according to U.S. Department of Energy data.
The PSC’s decision today represents one step in a process that will take 10 years or more. Before FPL makes a final decision to build these 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. Under the Florida Power Plant Siting Act, the governor and cabinet must also provide approval.
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 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.