JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company petitioned the Florida Public Service Commission today for approval to build an additional clean-burning natural gas unit at the company’s West County Energy Center in Palm Beach County, where two units are already under construction.
“The addition of a third unit at West County will allow us to continue to meet our customers’ needs for clean, reliable energy in a cost-effective manner. Over the next decade, energy demand in our service territory is projected to continue to increase significantly. Due to its very high efficiency, West County 3 is expected to save FPL’s customers millions of dollars in electricity costs while operating with excellent environmental performance—actually reducing, not increasing, FPL’s total electric system emissions,” said FPL President Armando Olivera.
Over the next 10 years, FPL projects that it will add an average of 81,000 new customers per year, or 810,000 new customers overall. During the same period, energy use per residential customer is expected to increase by 16 percent. FPL’s industry-leading demand-side management programs, which have helped the company avoid the need to build 12 medium-sized power plants since 1980, will satisfy a portion of this increased demand. To help meet the rest, the proposed West County Energy Center Unit 3 would deliver 1,219 megawatts of power—enough to supply the energy needs of 250,000 homes and businesses.
West County would also be the cleanest plant of its type in the state and one of the cleanest in the nation. Combined-cycle natural gas plants emit about 45 percent less carbon dioxide than coal, and if the new unit is approved and built, it would reduce FPL’s electric system CO2 emissions by 2.2 million tons in the first two years of operation alone. That’s the equivalent of removing 366,000 cars from the road, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
FPL customers would also benefit from substantial cost savings, including fuel costs, if the new unit is built by 2011. Due to its high efficiency, West County Unit 3 would save customers more than $600 million in electricity costs over the life of the unit relative to purchasing power from other companies.
As a related benefit, if West County Unit 3 is built by 2011, FPL would have a sufficient “reserve margin” of generation capacity to take older power plants elsewhere in the system offline and convert them to clean, high-efficiency units. This modernization would result in additional savings to customers and dramatically curb carbon dioxide emissions, helping to achieve the CO2 reduction goal outlined in Gov. Charlie Crist’s executive orders issued at last year’s Climate Change Summit in Miami.
“If FPL is able to follow through on the option of modernizing aging plants to new, high-efficiency units, carbon emissions would be cut by millions of tons and customers would save hundreds of millions of dollars. Just as today’s air conditioners are dramatically more efficient than those produced even 10 years ago, current energy generation units are vastly more efficient than plants built decades ago and can pay for themselves over time through fuel savings,” Olivera said.
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.
Cautionary Statements and Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results
In connection with the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (Reform Act), FPL Group and Florida Power & Light Company (Florida Power & Light) are hereby providing cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause FPL Group's or Florida Power & Light's actual results to differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements (as such term is defined in the Reform Act) made by or on behalf of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light in this press release, on their respective websites, in response to questions or otherwise. Any statements that express, or involve discussions as to, expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance, climate change strategy or growth strategies (often, but not always, through the use of words or phrases such as will likely result, are expected to, will continue, is anticipated, aim, believe, could, estimated, may, plan, potential, projection, target, outlook, predict, intend) are not statements of historical facts and may be forward-looking. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions and uncertainties. Accordingly, any such statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to, and are accompanied by, the following important factors (in addition to any assumptions and other factors referred to specifically in connection with such forward-looking statements) that could cause FPL Group's or Florida Power & Light's actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light.
Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and FPL Group and Florida Power & Light undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances, including unanticipated events, after the date on which such statement is made. New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.
The following are some important factors that could have a significant impact on FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's operations and financial results, and could cause FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements:
- FPL Group and Florida Power & Light are subject to complex laws and regulations and to changes in laws and regulations as well as changing governmental policies and regulatory actions, including, but not limited to, initiatives regarding deregulation and restructuring of the energy industry and environmental matters, including, but not limited to, matters related to the effects of climate change. Florida Power & Light holds franchise agreements with local municipalities and counties, and must renegotiate expiring agreements. These factors may have a negative impact on the business and results of operations of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light.
- The operation and maintenance of transmission, distribution and power generation facilities, including nuclear facilities, involve significant risks that could adversely affect the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light.
- The construction of, and capital improvements to, power generation facilities, including nuclear facilities, involve substantial risks. Should construction or capital improvement efforts be unsuccessful, the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light could be adversely affected.
- Because FPL Group and Florida Power & Light rely on access to capital markets, the inability to maintain current credit ratings and to access capital markets on favorable terms may limit the ability of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light to grow their businesses and would likely increase interest costs.
- Customer growth in Florida Power & Light’s service area affects FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's results of operations.
- Weather affects FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's results of operations.
- FPL Group and Florida Power & Light are subject to costs and other effects of legal proceedings as well as changes in or additions to applicable tax laws, rates or policies, rates of inflation, accounting standards, securities laws and corporate governance requirements.
- Threats of terrorism and catastrophic events that could result from terrorism, cyber attacks, or individuals and/or groups attempting to disrupt FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's business may impact the operations of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light in unpredictable ways.
- The ability of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light to obtain insurance and the terms of any available insurance coverage could be affected by national, state or local events and company-specific events.
- FPL Group and Florida Power & Light are subject to employee workforce factors that could affect the businesses and financial condition of FPL Group and Florida Power & Light.
The risks described herein are not the only risks facing FPL Group and Florida Power & Light. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to FPL Group or Florida Power & Light, or that are currently deemed to be immaterial, also may materially adversely affect FPL Group's or Florida Power & Light's business, financial condition and/or future operating results.