April 2, 2008
Survey finds more than 80 percent of St. Lucie County residents support wind turbines on Hutchinson Island

JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Eight out of 10 St. Lucie County residents responding to the first-ever scientific poll on the topic said they support Florida Power & Light Company’s proposal to build six wind turbines on company-owned property on Hutchinson Island. The nationally recognized polling firms of McLaughlin & Associates and Penn, Schoen & Brand conducted the research.  

“We’re gratified that so many residents of St. Lucie County support developing clean wind energy on Hutchinson Island,” said Eric Silagy, FPL vice president and chief development officer. “This research demonstrates that a majority of people feel strongly about climate change and the benefits of using clean wind energy to help address it.” 

As part of the research, respondents were asked about their support for FPL’s proposal to build six wind turbines on company-owned property. Of 500 respondents, 408 (81.6 percent) said they support the proposal, including 306 (61.2 percent) who said they “strongly” support the proposal and 102 (20.4 percent) who said they “somewhat” support the proposal.  Fifty respondents (10 percent) said they oppose the proposal, with 27 (5.4 percent) saying they “strongly” oppose it and 23 (4.6 percent) saying they “somewhat” oppose it.  The remaining 42 respondents (8.4 percent) said they had no opinion or declined to respond.    

More broadly, the research found strong support for the use of clean wind energy in general, with 87 percent saying they like the idea of wind power and 86 percent supporting the use of wind to increase the supply of electricity in Florida.  

When asked generally if they support building wind turbines on Hutchinson Island, 73.2 percent of respondents said yes. When it was explained that FPL would build turbines only on its own property and not on any public lands, support rose to 81.6 percent.  

Other highlights from the survey:

  • 83.8 percent of respondents had heard or read about FPL’s need to build new facilities to meet growing electricity needs.
  • 88.0 percent had seen, heard or read about FPL’s plans to build wind turbines on Hutchinson Island.
  • 59.0 percent agreed with the statement that “climate change is important and we should do everything we possibly can to reduce the process for our children and future.”  

The survey of 500 likely voters, a standard sampling demographic to gather opinions from better informed and engaged citizens, was conducted on March 24-25, 2008, by the national polling firms of McLaughlin & Associates and Penn, Schoen & Brand. All interviews were conducted via telephone by professionally trained interviewers on a state-of-the-art CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) system. Interview selection was at random from a St. Lucie County registered voter list, which was purchased from an independent list vendor. The sample accuracy of the 500 likely voters is within +/- 4.5 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval.  

The complete poll is available here

Florida Power & Light Company is a 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 the nation’s leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable sources such as solar and wind. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.FPL.com, www, FPLGroup.com and www.FPLEnergy.com