Florida Power & Light
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), the principal subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc. (formerly FPL Group, Inc.), is a Juno Beach, Florida-based power utility company serving roughly 4.9 million accounts and 10 million people in Florida.:7 It generates, transmits, distributes and sells electric energy.
|Subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc.|
|Eric Silagy, CEO|
|Products||Electricity generation, transmission, and distribution|
Number of employees
|Parent||NextEra Energy |
American Power and Light, a utility holding company, purchased electricity firms around Florida from March 1924 until December 1925 and tied them together as Florida Power and Light (FPL). The company was incorporated in December 1925. In January 1926, FPL replaced the Miami Beach Electric company. A 1926 hurricane caused damage to power lines through Miami, and FPL, through its parent company, repaired the damage and built two new generating plants. By spring 1927, FPL had 115,000 customers. In 1950, American Power and Light made FPL an independent public corporation that was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in response to a Congressional act which limited utility holding companies. In 1984, the holding company FPL Group Inc. was formed.
FPL was the first non-Japanese company to win the Deming Prize for quality from the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers in 1989. In 1990, FPL purchased Georgia Power Company's plant near Atlanta.
After the 2005 storm season which included hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, FPL invested more than $2 billion in improvements to the electric grid against severe weather. The company strengthened poles and wires that served critical facilities in the service area.
In December 2005, FPL Group Inc., FPL's parent company, announced an $11 billion all stock acquisition of Constellation Energy Group based in Baltimore, Maryland. Constellation terminated the sale in October 2006 due to Maryland regulatory obstacles.
Beginning in 2009, FPL started installing smart meters throughout its service area. The meters transmit energy readings through radio frequencies to the company. The system has alerts for power outages which helps restore power faster. Customers can access a detailed bill which shows how they use power.
In March 2010, FPL Group Inc. changed its name to NextEra Energy Inc. to "modernize" the company's image. The stock ticker changed from FPL to NEE.
FPL generates 25 gigawatts of energy with a diverse mix of fuels. FPL obtains most of its electricity from natural gas, followed by Nuclear power. FPL uses approximately 1.5 billion to 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day to power customers. Florida utilities consumed an average of almost 3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2012 for a total annual consumption of more than 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
FPL Cape Canaveral Next Generation Energy Center
An 800MW dual fuel facility was built near Cape Canaveral in 1965 to supply power to the new Kennedy Space Center. The original FPL Cape Canaveral power plant was demolished in August 22, 2010 to make way for the FPL Cape Canaveral Next Generation Energy Center. The FPL Cape Canaveral Next Generation Energy Center in Sharpes, Florida was completed and opened in April 2013. The 1,200MW combined-cycle natural gas-fired facility was 33 percent more efficient than the plant it replaced and produced half the carbon dioxide emissions, 90 percent less pollutants, and had a 50 percent greater capacity. The plant cost $900 million to complete, which was about $140 million under the projected budget.
FPL Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center
The FPL Port Everglades power plant, which began operation in 1960, was demolished in July 16, 2013 to make way for a new combined cycle facility. The FPL Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center started construction in 2014 and opened in 2016 as a 1,250MW facility.
FPL Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center
The FPL Riviera Beach power plant, commissioned in 1946, was demolished in June 19, 2011. Construction began in the first quarter of 2012 on the 1,250MW Next Generation Energy Center by Zachry Holdings. The new plant has three 265MW combustion engines and one 500MW steam generator and began service in April 2014.
FPL West County Energy Center
The West County Energy Center began operating in 2009. Before it was built, activists claimed the power plant was a threat to the nearby wildlife refuge and the ecosystem of the Everglades. Because the plant uses large amounts of water to cool its turbines which can reach up to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, activists also argued that millions of gallons of waste water will be deep-well injected below the Floridan aquifer daily, putting a strain on water supplies in South Florida if the power plant was completed. FPL responded stating that the plant reuses water up to six times in the plant. More than a dozen governmental agencies signed off on the plant which was approved by the governor and cabinet.
FPL Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center
Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center is the first hybrid solar facility combining a solar thermal array with a combined cycle natural gas power plant in the world. The 74.5MW plant began operation in December 2010. The plant has 190,000 mirrors spread over 500 acres.
FPL DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center
The 25MW DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center was completed in October 2009. The plant has more than 90,000 photovoltaic panels over 235 acres. DeSoto was the largest solar plant in the country in 2010.
In 1965, FPL announced the building of a $100 million nuclear power plant at Turkey Point. The company announced in 2015 that it had started construction on an expansion to the Turkey Point nuclear facility. The expansion of Turkey Point Nuclear facility received criticism from some South Florida mayors over concerns about high water usage, insufficient evacuation zones and increased risks from rising sea levels. FPL responded that they were working to find a solution.
FPL has two nuclear power plants including the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant in St. Lucie, Florida (Hutchinson Island) and Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station. Combined, these two plants produce more than 3,000 megawatts of energy.
Two power plants were completed in Martin County in 1994.
In January 2015, FPL announced it would build three solar plants in order to triple its solar capacity as well as a natural-gas fired plant in Okeechobee County. The photovoltaic plants will produce approximately 74.5MW each. The FPL Citrus Solar Energy Center will be located in DeSoto County, FPL Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center will be in Charlotte County, and FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center in Manatee County will be on the site of an existing fuel-efficient natural gas power plant that FPL operates. FPL plans grid energy storage with 409 MW of power and 900 MWh of energy at the site.
By 2018, 8 additional PV solar sites were in service at 75MW each.
FPL issued a request-for-proposals (RFP) in December 2012 for new natural gas transportation infrastructure into and within Florida. FPL awarded the projects to two firms: Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC and Florida Southeast Connection, LLC. FPL will purchase approximately 400 million cubic feet per day beginning in 2017, and will increase to about 600 million cubic feet per day in 2020.
Sabal Trail Transmission Pipeline, a joint venture of Spectra Energy Corp. and NextEra Energy, Inc., will include nearly 500 miles (800 km) of interstate natural gas pipeline that will originate in southwestern Alabama and transport natural gas to Georgia and Florida. It will terminate at a new Central Florida Hub south of Orlando, Florida, where it will interconnect with the two existing natural gas pipelines that currently serve central and southern Florida. The Sabal Trail pipeline will be capable of transporting more than 1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas to serve local distribution companies, industrial users and natural gas-fired power generators in the Southeast U.S.
Florida Southeast Connection, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy. To connect with FPL's operations, Florida Southeast Connection will construct a separate, 126 miles (203 km) pipeline from Sabal Trail's Central Florida Hub to FPL's Martin Clean Energy Center in Indiantown, Florida.
The 168 miles of cooling water canals around the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant operated by FPL attract American crocodiles, which nest in the canals. This nesting area has aided in the recovery of the American crocodile population. The plant runs a monitoring program which tracks endangered loggerhead sea turtles, manatees, and crocodiles. The habitat restoration and tagging program includes a sea turtle protection program which has tagged over 12,000 sea turtles over 25 years, comprising one of the largest databases of wild captured sea turtles in the world, and the College of Turtle Knowledge which educates the public about the protection and study of turtles in the area.
The cooling outflow of the Riviera Beach Clean Energy Center attracts manatees which seek warm waters. In February 2015, construction began on the Florida Power and Light Manatee Education Center. It will include exhibits and meeting space, a boardwalk, and a manatee web cam.
FPL started the SolarNow program in 2015. FPL customers can voluntarily contribute to the program which makes community-type solar installations throughout Florida. The first installation was at the Young At Art Museum and included an educational display that presented information on how the panels function, the impact weather can have, and a real-time display of how much electricity the solar array generates.
The NextEra Energy Next Generation Living Lab at the FPL headquarters in Juno Beach, Florida includes rooftop solar installations which allow the expansion of solar power research. The installations are being used to research clean-energy expansions, next-generation renewable technologies, and efficiency and storage capabilities of the electric grid.
FPL created a proposal to diversify its fuel sources by building a coal-burning power plant on 5,000 acres (20 km2) in Moore Haven, Florida, near the western edge of Lake Okeechobee. After the National Park Service raised concerns that it would emit toxic mercury into the lake and also harm the Everglades, the state Public Service Commission rejected the plan in 2007. In August 2007, the St. Lucie nuclear plant reduced power output while a leak in a condensation pump was repaired.
Beginning in January 2009, environmental activists worked to draw attention to what they claimed were damages being wreaked by the power company's 3,750 megawatt Martin County plant. The activists claimed that the power plant is drawing water from the aquifer below the swamp causing the soil to subside below the root systems of the trees. Florida Power & Light, which began voluntarily preserving the land in 1972, reopened the Barley Barber Swamp for tours in 2010.
Along with other state utilities, FPL has been criticized for using its influence with state politicians and political organizations to reject laws which would make it easier for home and business owners to adopt rooftop solar. According to the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, several of the top utility companies in Florida, including FPL, have contributed over $12 million towards the election campaigns of state lawmakers since 2010.
Awards and recognition
The company was recognized in 2014 as the most trusted U.S. electric utility by Market Strategies International In 2014, FPL was the winner of the ReliabilityOne award for the south region and the Technology & Innovation award, both from the PA Consulting Group. That same year, FPL earned the national ServiceOne Award for outstanding customer service for its 10 consecutive year. According to the 2016 J.D. Power study on energy utilities companies, FPL ranked at the top position in customer satisfaction. Additionally, FPL Group and NextEra Energy were rated as the most admired company amongst gas and electric utilities by Fortune Magazine for eight consecutive years.
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