INDIANTOWN, Fla. – Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp and local community leaders joined officials of Florida Power & Light Company here today to break ground on FPL’s Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center, which will be the world’s first hybrid solar energy plant and the first utility-scale solar facility in Florida.
With Florida and the nation facing the twin challenges of climate change and energy security, FPL’s new 75-megawatt Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center marks an important early step in Florida’s quest to use more sun to power the Sunshine State.
“Florida’s future growth and economic strength depends on how we address climate change, and we know we can reduce greenhouse gases by using fewer fossil fuels and more natural energy sources like solar,” said Gov. Charlie Crist. “This solar facility is a significant step in that direction.”
As the first hybrid solar facility in the world to combine a solar-thermal field with a combined-cycle natural gas power plant, the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center will use less fossil fuel when heat from the sun is available to help produce the steam needed to generate electricity. This innovative technology will help protect customers from volatile fossil fuel costs as it reduces Florida’s carbon footprint. The solar facility will consist of approximately 180,000 mirrors over roughly 500 acres of land at the existing FPL Martin Plant location.
“The next generation of Floridians is counting on us to address the most pressing energy challenges of our time. With the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center, we will capture the power of the sun to fight climate change and provide the state with clean, affordable energy,” said FPL Group Chairman and CEO Lew Hay.
“At this innovative facility, each sunrise will be the equivalent of easing our foot off the gas pedal as solar power is being produced. With the continued support of Gov. Crist, the Florida Legislature and the Public Service Commission, FPL will do more – much more – in the coming years to build Florida’s renewable energy industry,” said Hay.
Gov. Crist has made clean energy and protecting Florida’s environment a priority since taking office.
"The Governor and I want to commend FPL for being a leader in the use of solar energy as the world’s No. 1 producer of solar thermal energy and one of the largest generators of wind power,” said Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp. “We believe there is no better place than here, in the Sunshine State, to lead the way in expanding solar technology to homes and businesses."
The Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center will provide enough power to serve about 11,000 homes. Over 30 years, the solar facility will prevent the emissions of more than 2.75 million tons of greenhouse gases, which is the equivalent of removing more than 18,700 cars from the road every year for the life of the project, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The implementation of solar thermal technology will also decrease fossil-fuel usage by approximately 41 billion cubic feet of natural gas and more than 600,000 barrels of oil.
The facility will be the nation’s second-largest solar energy facility when it is fully operational in 2010. The Martin facility is the largest of three solar projects FPL is building in Florida. With a combined total of 110 megawatts of emissions-free energy, the facilities will make Florida the No. 2 producer of solar energy nationwide and will avoid nearly 3.5 million tons of carbon dioxide over the lives of the plants.
In addition to the Martin facility, FPL will also build two other solar projects in Florida – one at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and the other in Desoto County. These facilities will add 35 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity to the state. Combined, these projects help strengthen FPL Group’s position as the nation’s clean energy leader.
Among the company’s clean energy credentials:
• FPL Group is the nation’s No. 1 producer of renewable energy from wind. The company has 58 projects in 16 states with a capacity of more than 5,800 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power more than 1 million homes and businesses with zero carbon emissions.
• FPL Group is the nation’s No. 1 producer of renewable energy from solar. The company operates the largest solar-thermal plant in the world in California’s Mojave Desert, the 310-megawatt Solar Electric Generating System.
• Florida Power & Light Company is the nation’s No. 1 utility for energy conservation, according to U.S. Department of Energy data. FPL’s conservation programs have helped the company avoid the need to build 12 medium-sized power plants since 1980, more than any other utility.
More information about FPL’s next-generation solar energy centers is available at www.fpl.com/solar. For downloadable, high-resolution photos of solar thermal technology, please visit www.flickr.com/fplsolar.
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 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.
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.
• Adverse capital and credit market conditions may adversely affect FPL Group's and FPL's ability to meet liquidity needs, access capital and operate and grow their businesses, and the cost of capital. Disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the financial markets can also adversely impact the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group and FPL, as well as exert downward pressure on stock prices.
• FPL Group's and FPL's inability to maintain their current credit ratings may adversely affect FPL Group's and FPL's liquidity, limit the ability of FPL Group and FPL to grow their businesses, and would likely increase interest costs.
• FPL Group and FPL are subject to credit and performance risk from third parties under supply and service contracts.
• Customer growth and customer usage in Florida Power & Light’s service area affect FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's results of operations.
• Weather affects FPL Group's and Florida Power & Light's results of operations, as can the impact of severe weather. Weather conditions directly influence the demand for electricity and natural gas, affect the price of energy commodities, and can affect the production of electricity at power generating facilities.
• FPL Group and Florida Power & Light are subject to costs and other potentially adverse effects of legal and regulatory proceedings as well as regulatory compliance and 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 adversely 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 adversely 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.