Juno Beach, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company announced today a proposal to modernize its power plants at Riviera Beach and Cape Canaveral to high-efficiency natural gas units employing the latest technology, a move that will save customers hundreds of millions of dollars and significantly improve the environmental profile of FPL’s generation fleet.
“Modernizing these two power plants to high-efficiency natural gas units will be a win for FPL customers and these communities. The state’s growing need for electricity will be met, customers will save money, the air will be cleaner, and the reduction in greenhouse gasses will be significant,” said FPL President Armando Olivera.
The current generating units at the Riviera power plant went into service in 1962 and 1963 and generate 280 megawatts of power each. The Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center, scheduled to go online in 2014, will feature a combined cycle natural gas unit capable of producing 1,250 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 250,000 homes and businesses. Cape Canaveral’s existing units came online in 1965 and 1969 and generate 400 megawatts of power each. The Cape Canaveral Next Generation Clean Energy Center, scheduled to go into service in 2013, will also feature a combined cycle natural gas unit capable of producing 1,250 megawatts of power.
The new units will be considerably more efficient than the existing facilities, using at least 33 percent less fuel to produce the same amount of power. At a time of historically high fuel prices, it makes economic sense to modernize the plants to capture fuel savings. Over the life of the project, FPL estimates that the plant upgrades will save customers about $450 million.
By modernizing the plants with the latest and best technology for generating electricity from natural gas, FPL’s system-wide environmental profile—already among the best in the United States—will improve significantly. The new units will improve air quality by reducing particulate emissions by 88 percent at these sites and improve the plants’ carbon dioxide emission rate by 50 percent. This is the equivalent of removing 200,000 cars from the road in the first year alone, according the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In addition, FPL will make a number of environmental improvements at each site. For example, the office buildings at both sites will feature rooftop solar panels to help power the facilities, and the buildings themselves will be certified as environmentally sustainable under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. At the Riviera Beach energy center, FPL will also provide for a permanent manatee viewing area to foster continued support for this endangered species.
Modernizing the two plants is contingent on a number of factors, including whether FPL is granted approval to construct a third natural gas unit at the company’s West County facility in Palm Beach County. Without the new West County unit, FPL will not have a sufficient "reserve margin" of generating capacity to take the Riviera Beach and Cape Canaveral plants offline to upgrade them. FPL filed a determination of need petition for the third West County unit with the Florida Public Service Commission on April 8.
The communities of Riviera Beach and Brevard County will also benefit from the plants being modernized. Combined, the projects are expected to generate about $30 million in additional property tax revenue in the first year of operation alone. Aesthetically, the modernized units will feature an improved design, with stacks only half the height of the existing stacks.
The modernization projects will be licensed and approved through Florida’s Power Plant Siting Act. FPL filed its determination of need petition with the Florida Public Service Commission today to begin the process of regulatory approval.
Those interested in learning more about the conversion projects are invited to visit www.FPL.com/Cape and www.FPL.com/RBeach.
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.
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- 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.