CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – At Kennedy Space Center today, Sen. Bill Nelson and Reps. Suzanne Kosmas and Bill Posey joined officials from Florida Power & Light Company and NASA to celebrate the groundbreaking of FPL’s Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center.
The new solar photovoltaic power facility is the result of a unique public-private partnership between FPL and NASA and demonstrates both organizations’ commitment to bringing clean-energy solutions to the state.
“The Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center is an important part of Florida’s clean-energy future. I grew up in Florida, seeing NASA as the home of historic American achievements, so I love the idea of FPL helping to power the space program,” said FPL President and CEO Armando J. Olivera. “Like NASA, FPL is looking beyond the horizon. We are building more emissions-free solar power with the quality of life of our children and grandchildren in mind.”
“The partnership between NASA and FPL is an excellent one that comes at the right time,” said Robert Cabana, director of Kennedy Space Center. “It will help provide clean, renewable power to Florida residents, it will help support America’s space program by supplying electricity directly to Kennedy Space Center, and it helps to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and improves the environment.”
The Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center will be located on NASA property at Kennedy Space Center and, when completed, will produce an estimated 10 megawatts of clean, emissions-free power for FPL customers, which is enough energy to serve roughly 1,100 homes.
FPL is also building a separate solar facility of approximately one megawatt that will provide clean power directly to Kennedy Space Center, helping NASA meet its renewable energy goals.
“There’s no better time than right now to start using the sun and other clean sources to power America,” said Nelson. “And, perhaps, there’s no better agency to help lead the way than NASA. Let’s hope power companies all over the country take a cue from this partnership.”
“Florida is poised to be a leader in America’s growing clean energy economy, which naturally includes solar power,” said Kosmas. “Bringing new clean energy jobs to our communities is one of my top priorities. This joint effort between NASA and FPL is an example of how we can create jobs while investing in common-sense solutions to the economic, environmental and national security challenges we face today.”
“As a member of the Congressional Renewable Energy Caucus, I have a strong commitment to renewable energy and am pleased to see this project going forward right here on the Space Coast,” said Posey. “This is an important step in the development of future sources of renewable energy and is one way we can reverse our dependence on foreign oil.”
The Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 227,000 tons, which is the equivalent of removing 1,800 cars off the road each year according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It will also save approximately 122,000 barrels of oil and 2.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas over its lifetime.
Additionally, the solar array will provide about 100 jobs during construction, helping to boost the local economy in Brevard County. FPL expects to complete the project by the middle of next year at the latest.
The facility will feature approximately 35,000 highly efficient solar photovoltaic panels from SunPower, a global leader in commercial-scale solar power technology, across 60 acres at Kennedy Space Center. The panels are 50 percent more powerful than conventional solar panels. Last month, SunPower and FPL Group announced a supply agreement beginning in 2010 through 2012. SunPower has also committed to locating a research and development center in Florida if the state continues its robust solar program.
The Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center is one of three solar facilities that FPL is currently building in the state of Florida, totaling 110 megawatts of clean, renewable energy generation. The Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Indiantown will be the world’s first hybrid solar thermal facility to connect to an existing fossil fuel plant. It is the largest of the three at 75 megawatts and is scheduled to be complete in 2010. FPL’s contractor on the project, Lauren Construction & Engineers, is currently hiring about 1,000 workers to complete the work.
FPL’s DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, a 25-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility in Arcadia, will be the nation’s largest photovoltaic array when it is complete later this year. The project has brought more than 200 construction jobs to DeSoto County.
Find more information about FPL’s Next Generation Solar Energy Centers online at www.FPL.com/solar.
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 (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, including FPL Group’s and FPL’s expectations and assumptions with respect to the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center or FPL Group’s and FPL’s other development activities (including the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center and the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center). 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, both generally and specifically with respect to the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center or FPL Group’s or FPL’s other development activities (including the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center and the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center), to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, among others:
• Inability to complete construction of or capital improvements to the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center or other FPL Group or FPL power generation facilities
• Inability to obtain the supplies necessary for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center or other FPL Group or FPL power generation facilities
• Inability to obtain the required regulatory approvals and permits for the construction and operation of other FPL Group or FPL power generation facilities
• Changes in laws, regulations, governmental policies and regulatory actions regarding the energy industry and environmental matters, in particular with respect to the deployment of solar power
• Inability of FPL Group or FPL to access capital markets or maintain its credit rating
• Inability to hire and retain skilled labor for the construction and operation of the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center, or other changes or disruptions related to FPL Group’s or FPL’s workforce
• General economic conditions
• Hazards customary to the operation and maintenance of power generation facilities, including unanticipated outages
• Unusual or adverse weather conditions, including natural disasters
• Transmissions constraints or other factors limiting FPL Group’s or FPL’s ability to deliver energy
• Volatility in the price of energy
• Failure of FPL Group or FPL customers to perform under contracts
• Increased competition in the power industry
• Changes in the wholesale power markets
• Costs and other effects of legal and administrative proceedings
• Terrorism or other catastrophic events
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.