Florida Power & Light

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Florida Power & Light
Type Subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc.
Industry Electric Utilities
Founded 1925
Headquarters Juno Beach, Florida, USA
Area served Florida
Key people Eric Silagy President
Products Electricity generation, transmission and distribution
Employees 11,000
Website fpl.com

Florida Power & Light Company, the principal subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc. (formerly FPL Group, Inc.), commonly referred to by its initials, FPL, is a Juno Beach, Florida-based power utility which serves roughly 4.4 million customers in Florida. FPL holds power generation assets in more than 20 U.S. states.

History[edit]

FPL Group, Inc. logo

Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) was founded in 1925 by merging a number of smaller companies providing power and other services to local communities in Jacksonville and northeastern Florida, and grew with the growth in population the state has experienced.

FPL was the first company outside of Japan to win the Deming Prize, doing so in 1989. Dr. Noriaki Kano was one of the consultants that helped FPL to reach this stature.

On June 20, 2005, FPL Group completed acquisition of Gexa Energy,[1] a retail electricity provider located in Houston and active in the deregulated Texas electricity market. At the time of acquisition, Gexa Energy had grown to over $273 million in 2004 revenues and further had been serving 100,000 total meters within the state of Texas. FPL Group acquired Gexa Energy for approximately US$81 million.

On December 19, 2005, FPL Group, Inc. announced that it was purchasing Constellation Energy Group (holding company for the former Baltimore Gas and Electric Company - founded 1816 as the Gas Light Company of Baltimore, America's oldest utility company by Rembrandt Peale and others) in a merger transaction valued at more than $11 billion and also that it would adopt "Constellation Energy" as its name for the post-merger entity. The merger was cancelled on 25 October 2006.[2]

FPL is prohibited by ruling 229/23b4-1988 SEC 4 (a-j)[clarification needed] to perform personal electrical remodifications and/or alterations to any and all personal/public property not owned by FPL.[citation needed]

On June 6, 2007, the state of Florida rejected FPL's proposal to build a coal-burning power plant on 5,000 acres (20 km2) in Moore Haven, Florida, near the western edge of Lake Okeechobee, citing concerns that it would emit toxic mercury into the lake and also harm the Everglades. FPL stated that the decision could result in higher electricity rates for customers.

On August 13, 2007, FPL workers at the company's St. Lucie Nuclear plant in Florida discovered a leak in one of the facility's condensation pumps. The plant was ordered to reduce its power output until repairs were made.[3]

In 2008 activists complained about the 3,800 megawatt gas/diesel West County Energy Center, then under construction. They argued that the location of the power plant, less than 1,000 feet (300 m) from the northern point of the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, would endanger the entire Everglades ecosystem including the approximately thirty threatened or endangered species that live in the refuge. They 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 is completed.[4]

On February 26, 2008, a power outage occurred after eight power plants went off-line in the region which affected approximately 600,000 to 800,000 Florida residents.[5]

Beginning on January 5, 2009, 30 environmental activists staged a five-day vigil along the Barley Barber Swamp, a 440-acre (1.8 km2) old growth cypress forest owned by Florida Power & Light, to draw attention to what they claimed were damages being wrought by the power company's 3,750 megawatt Martin County plant. The activists claim that the Martin County power plant is drawing water from the aquifer below the swamp causing the soil to subside below the root systems of the trees. They also claim that the swamp exhibits several trees aged over 1,000 years, making them the oldest in Florida. On January 10 seventeen of the activists were arrested for trespassing. Florida Power & Light has since stated that the company will reopen the Barley Barber Swamp by 2010.[6]

On January 7, 2009, FPL Energy announced it was changing its name to NextEra Energy Resources to highlight its commitment to renewable energy.[7]

In 2011, construction was started on a $1.1 billion gas-fired plant replacement of its Cape Canaveral facility, which is located in Sharpes.[8]

Gas plants[edit]

At 3,750 MW, FPL's Martin County Power Plant, which burns gas and oil, is currently the single largest fossil fuel burning power plant in the United States.[9] It is located in Western Martin County, just north of Indiantown. It was originally permitted in the early 1970s and has expanded to its current size since. The plant is cooled with water which is then pumped into the surrounding 17-mile (27 km) cooling pond, one of the largest bodies of water in the state of Florida.[10]

FPL is currently constructing a permitted 3,800 megawatt power plant, the West County Energy Center (WCEC). It is located in northern Palm Beach County in the Everglades Agricultural Area, 1,000 feet (300 m) from the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge. The refuge functions as the northern headwaters of the entire southern Everglades ecosystem. Once completed, the WCEC will be the largest fossil fuel power plant in the United States.[11]

In 2012, FPL was constructing a $1.2 billion gas plant to replace a demolished oil-burning plant in Port St. John, Florida.[12]

On July 16, 2013, FPL razed the Port Everglades power plant with plans to replace it with a newer less polluting one.[13]

Nuclear plants[edit]

FPL is majority owner and operator of the St. Lucie and Turkey Point nuclear power plants.

FPL has proposed building two more nuclear generators at Turkey Point.

Solar power plants[edit]

FPL is building the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center — a $476 million, 75 MW(peak) parabolic trough array on 500 acres (200 ha) of the Martin County, Florida plant. The solar collectors will feed heat to the existing steam plant, reducing the need for gas.[14] The energy from the solar array will generate power at a rate of 155,000 MWh per year.[15]

FPL is building two solar photovoltaic power generation systems at Kennedy Space Center.[2]

Now operational is the 25MW DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in DeSoto County, Florida.[16] The facility uses more than 90,000 photovoltaic panels to supply power to more than 3,000 homes.

Babcock Ranch[edit]

Florida Power & Light proposed to build a 75-megawatt solar photovoltaic array at Babcock Ranch in Lee and Charlotte counties, the nation's first proposed solar-powered city.[17]

Hurricane Wilma[edit]

After Hurricane Wilma, FPL reported that about 3 million customers were without power in the South Florida area. About 20 days later, with the help of other power companies, FPL restored the majority of power in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.[citation needed]

Criticism[edit]

Taxation[edit]

In April 2009, BusinessWeek magazine reported that FPL Group was one of 25 US companies that paid the least US taxes. FPL Group paid a 1.3 percent annual tax rate, far less than the standard 35 percent corporate rate, based on an analysis of the company's financial figures for 2005-2008. On more than $7 billion in company earnings during this four-year period, FPL Group paid $88 million in taxes. This low rate was possible given tax breaks for having invested in alternative energy. A company spokesperson said the company is merely taking advantage of incentives to develop renewable resources. To ensure these tax breaks continue, in 2008 alone, FPL Group paid more than $500,000 to five major lobbying firms that lobby Congress.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FPL Group completes acquisition of Texas retail electric provider Gexa Corp.". FPL Group. 2005-06-20. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
  2. ^ "FPL, Constellation cancel planned deal". Reuters. 2006-10-25. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
  3. ^ Buurma, Christine (2007-08-14). "FPL's St. Lucie Nuclear Plant Reduces Power Due To Leak". Dow Jones Newswires. 
  4. ^ "Earth First! Blockades Florida Power Plant Construction, 27 Arrested". Environment News Service. 2008-02-19. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
  5. ^ "Power restored to parts of Florida after outage". CNN. 2008-02-26. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
  6. ^ "17 protesters arrested at Barley Barber swamp, demand FPL open area to the public". Palm Beach Post. 2009-01-10. 
  7. ^ "FPL Energy to change name to NextEra Energy Resources". FPL Group. 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
  8. ^ McCarthy, John (April 6, 2011). "FPL plant growing". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 6C. 
  9. ^ "The World's Largest Power Plants". industcards. 2009-02-21. 
  10. ^ "Martin Plant Expansion". Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
  11. ^ "NSR/PSD Construction Permits". Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2009-04-18. [dead link]
  12. ^ Waymer, Jim (April 30, 2012). "Indian River power plant hangs in limbo". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 1B. 
  13. ^ http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/16/3502378/boom-lauderdale-power-plant-razed.html
  14. ^ Mayfield, Jim (2008-12-03). "World's first hybrid solar power facility breaks ground in Martin County". TCPalm.com (Scripps Interactive Newspapers Group). Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  15. ^ "Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center FAQs". FPL. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ Anderson, Zac (April 10, 2009). "FPL to build major solar plant at Babcock Ranch". heraldtribune =. Retrieved April 10, 2009. 
  18. ^ "US Companies That Paid The Least Taxes," BusinessWeek, April 23, 2009

External links[edit]