JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company’s fossil fuel fleet reached a new level of efficiency in 2009, creating more electricity from less fuel than ever before. FPL’s investments since 2002 in cleaner, more efficient technology avoided approximately 4.9 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions this year while saving customers an estimated $440 million in fuel costs.
Cumulatively, FPL’s investments have saved customers almost $3 billion in fuel costs and avoided 24.5 million tons of CO2 emissions since 2002. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to removing 4.25 million cars from the road.
“FPL’s investments in our plants are translating directly into benefits for our customers and for the environment in which we all live. We’re proud to be the most efficient large-scale utility in the nation, and we’re working to be even more efficient all the time,” said Armando J. Olivera, the utility’s president and CEO. “While we can’t control the cost of fuel, we can focus on making our plants as efficient as possible to help control the amount of fuel we use to produce power.”
In the past year, two new highly efficient, natural gas-fired, combined-cycle units entered service at FPL’s West County Energy Center, which is among the cleanest, most efficient power plants of its kind in the nation. These units began contributing immediately to FPL’s record-setting efficiency improvements, utilizing state-of-the art technology to produce more electricity with less fuel, thereby decreasing both carbon emissions and customers’ bills.
In 2009, FPL’s typical residential customer bill was 10 percent below the national average and the lowest of Florida’s 54 electric utilities. In 2010, if FPL’s base rate proposal is approved, the total bill that a typical customer pays will decrease by about $6 a month as a result of lower fuel prices and the company’s past investments in fuel efficiency.
The proposed base rate would support FPL’s ongoing efficiency improvement plans, which include the modernization of two older power plants, one in Cape Canaveral and one in Riviera Beach. When those plants return to service in 2013 and 2014, respectively, they will utilize clean-burning natural gas technology that is 33 percent more efficient and contribute millions in fuel savings for customers.
If FPL is able to continue to invest in improved fuel efficiencies, the benefits for customers will increase year after year. By 2014, FPL’s fleet would avoid more than 7 million tons of CO2 emissions every year, equivalent to removing 100,000 cars from the road each month. At the same time, the fuel savings for FPL customers would top $1 billion annually.
In addition to fossil fuel efficiency savings, emissions-free nuclear energy saved customers millions of dollars in 2009. Despite the fact that nuclear fuel accounted for only about three percent of FPL’s total fuel bill, the company’s clean, safe and reliable nuclear plants provided 24 percent of FPL’s net generation over the year.
In preparation for Florida’s electricity needs down the road, FPL continued to make stepwise progress in 2009 in its efforts to create the option to build two new nuclear units that would begin providing electricity in 2018 and 2020, if the current schedule is maintained. Based on current fuel prices, these new plants would save customers approximately $93 billion in fuel costs over their initial 40-year license periods, further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help protect customers from fossil fuel supply disruptions and unpredictable prices that can result from being too reliant on any single source of fuel.
FPL’s solar projects are another important part of Florida's clean-energy future. In 2009, President Barack Obama helped commission the nation’s largest solar PV power plant – FPL's DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center. Construction is well underway at FPL’s Martin and Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Centers, which are slated to open in 2010.
Solar power technology uses only free fuel – power from the sun – and produces no greenhouse gases so the costs of these plants will never fluctuate because of volatile fuel prices or future carbon emissions standards. With a constructive regulatory environment and the passage of renewable energy legislation at the state level, FPL’s additional shovel-ready solar projects would create sustainable job growth and provide a significant economic stimulus to local economies here in Florida while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting the effects of climate change.
For more information about FPL’s plans to improve its infrastructure and keep customer bills low over the long term, visit www.OurFloridaEnergyFuture.com.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is the largest electric utility in Florida and one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the United States. FPL serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is a leading employer in the state with nearly 11,000 employees. The company consistently outperforms national averages for service reliability while customer bills are well below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and the No. 1 energy efficiency program among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL). For more information, visit www.FPL.com.
FPL Group and FPL: Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements typically express or involve discussion as to expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance, climate change strategy or growth strategies and often, but not always, can be identified by the use of words such as “will,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” and similar terms. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts and involve estimates, assumptions and uncertainties.
Although FPL Group, Inc. (FPL Group) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) believe that their expectations are reasonable, because forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, the companies can give no assurance that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release will prove to be correct. Important factors could cause FPL Group’s and FPL’s actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements in this press release. Factors that could have a significant impact on FPL Group’s operations and financial results, and could cause FPL Group’s and FPL’s actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, among others:
• FPL Group and FPL are subject to complex laws and regulations and to changes in laws and regulations as well as changing governmental policies and regulatory actions. FPL 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 FPL.
• The operation and maintenance of power generation, transmission and distribution facilities involve significant risks that could adversely affect the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group and FPL.
• The operation and maintenance of nuclear facilities involves inherent risks, including environmental, health, regulatory, terrorism and financial risks, that could result in fines or the closure of nuclear units owned by FPL or NextEra Energy Resources, and which may present potential exposures in excess of insurance coverage.
• The construction of, and capital improvements to, power generation and transmission facilities involve substantial risks. Should construction or capital improvement efforts be unsuccessful or delayed, the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group and FPL could be adversely affected.
• The use of derivative contracts by FPL Group and FPL in the normal course of business could result in financial losses or the payment of margin cash collateral that adversely impact the results of operations or cash flows of FPL Group and FPL.
• FPL Group's competitive energy business is subject to risks, many of which are beyond the control of FPL Group, including, but not limited to, the efficient development and operation of generating assets, the successful and timely completion of project restructuring activities, the price and supply of fuel and equipment, transmission constraints, competition from other generators, including those using new sources of generation, excess generation capacity and demand for power, that may reduce the revenues and adversely impact the results of operations and financial condition of FPL Group.
• FPL Group's ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate acquisitions is subject to significant risks, including, but not limited to, the effect of increased competition for acquisitions resulting from the consolidation of the power industry.
• FPL Group and FPL participate in markets that are often subject to uncertain economic conditions, which makes it difficult to estimate growth, future income and expenditures.
• Customer growth and customer usage in FPL's service area affect FPL Group's and FPL's results of operations.
• Weather affects FPL Group's and FPL'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.
• 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 increase 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 the market price of FPL Group's common stock.
• FPL Group’s, FPL Group Capital’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.
• FPL Group and FPL 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, corporate governance requirements and labor and employment laws.
• 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 FPL's business may impact the operations of FPL Group and FPL in unpredictable ways.
• The ability of FPL Group and FPL to obtain insurance and the terms of any available insurance coverage could be adversely affected by international, national, state or local events and company-specific events.
• FPL Group and FPL are subject to employee workforce factors that could adversely affect the businesses and financial condition of FPL Group and FPL.
These foregoing factors should be considered in connection with information regarding risks and uncertainties that may affect FPL Group’s or FPL’s future results included in FPL Group’s and FPL’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which may be found at www.sec.gov or at www.FPLGroup.com.
Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and FPL Group and FPL undertake no obligation to update or review any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances, including unanticipated events, after the date on which such statement is made, unless otherwise required by law. 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 facts, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.