Florida Power & Light

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Florida Power & Light
Subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc.
Industry Electric Utilities
Founded 1925
Headquarters Juno Beach, Florida, United States
Area served
Florida
Key people
Eric Silagy President & CEO
Products Electricity generation, transmission and distribution
Number of employees
9,000
Website fpl.com

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[1] serving roughly 4.7 million accounts and 9 million people in Florida. It generates, transmits, distributes and sells electric energy.

History[edit]

FPL Group, Inc. logo

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.[2] 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.[3][4] In 1984, the holding company FPL Group Inc. was formed.[5]

FPL was the first non-Japanese company to win the Deming Prize for quality from the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers in 1989.[6][7][8] In 1990, FPL purchased Georgia Power Company's plant near Atlanta.[5]

Houston-based Gexa Energy was acquired by FPL in June 2005 for $80.6 million.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11] Constellation terminated the sale in October 2006 due to Maryland regulatory obstacles.[12][13][14]

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.[15]

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.[16]

In March 2015, FPL launched a Power Delivery Diagnostic Center which uses smart grid technology to manage the electric system in order to maintain reliable service.[17]

In 2016, the company had about 74,000 miles (119,000 km) of power lines in Florida.[18]

Power generation[edit]

FPL's power generation
FPL's power generation (2013) - Solar and Oil together account for less than 1%

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.

Cape Canaveral Next Generation Energy Center[edit]

An 800MW dual fuel facility was built near Cape Canaveral in 1965 to supply power to the new Kennedy Space Center.[19] The original Cape Canaveral power plant was demolished in 2010 to make way for the Cape Canaveral Next Generation Energy Center.[19] The Cape Canaveral Next Generation Energy Center in Sharpes, Florida 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.[19][20][21][22]

Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center[edit]

In July 2013, the Port Everglades plant, which began operation in 1960, was demolished to make room for a new combined cycle facility.[19][23][24] The Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center will be a 1,250MW facility.[25]

Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center[edit]

The previous Riviera Beach Energy Center, commissioned in 1946, was demolished in June 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.[26][27]

West County Energy Center[edit]

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, though they presented no proof of these claims 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.[28]

Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center[edit]

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 75MW plant began operation in December 2010.[29] The plant has 190,000 mirrors spread over 500 acres.[30]

DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center[edit]

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.[31][32]

Nuclear facilities[edit]

In 1965, FPL announced the building of a $100 million nuclear power plant at Turkey Point.[5] 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.[33]

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.

Other plants[edit]

Two power plants were completed in Martin County in 1994.[5]

In January 2015, FBL announced it was building 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 75MW each.[34] 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.[35]

Pipelines[edit]

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.

Environmental impact[edit]

Wildlife[edit]

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.[36] 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.[37]

The cooling outflow of the Riviera Beach Clean Energy Center attracts manatees which seek warm waters.[38] 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.[39]

Solar programs[edit]

FPL began its program Solar for Schools in 2013 and has installed solar arrays at more than 100 schools and non-profit educational centers across Florida.[40]

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.[41]

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.

Criticism[edit]

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.[42][43][44] In August 2007, the St. Lucie nuclear plant reduced power output while a leak in a condensation pump was repaired.[45]

Beginning in January 2009, environmental activists worked to draw attention to what they claimed were damages being wrought 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.[46]

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.[47] 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.[48]

Awards and recognition[edit]

The company was recognized in 2014 as the most trusted U.S. electric utility by Market Strategies International [49] 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.[50][51] That same year, FPL earned the national ServiceOne Award for outstanding customer service for its 10 consecutive year.[52][53]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Next Era Energy. (2013). 2013 annual report, p. 5
  2. ^ "Florida Power & Light Celebrates 50th Anniversary". Sarasota Journal. April 8, 1976. 
  3. ^ "Florida Power and Light". Palm Beach County. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  4. ^ Salisbury, Susan (April 29, 2013). "Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy, FPL parent company, plans to hold annual meeting in Dallas". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d Salisbury, Susan (March 21, 2010). "Juno-based FPL Group to become NextEra Energy". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  6. ^ Mohamed Zairi (February 17, 2010). Effective Management of Benchmarking Projects. Routledge. 
  7. ^ James E. Hennessy, Suki Robins (1991). Managing Toward the Millinnium. Fordham University Press. 
  8. ^ "Florida Power and Light Company Wins Coveted Deming Award". Congressional Record 101st Congress (1989-1990). November 17, 1989. 
  9. ^ "FPL Energy to acquire Gexa for $80.6 million". Houston Business Journal. March 28, 2005. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  10. ^ "FPL stages mini-cities for hurricane preparedness". Smart Grid News. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  11. ^ Smith, Rebecca; Berman, Dennis K (December 19, 2005). "FPL Unveils Acquisition of Constellation Energy In an $11 Billion Deal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  12. ^ "FPL Group and Constellation Energy Call Off Billion Dollar Merger". T&D World Magazine. December 1, 2006. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  13. ^ Humber, Caroline (October 25, 2006). "FPL, Constellation scrap $12.5 billion merger". Reuters. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Constellation, FPL cancel giant energy merger". USA Today. October 25, 2006. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  15. ^ Sutta, =David (May 2, 2014). "Fighting The Switch? The Smart Meter Controversy". CBS Miami. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  16. ^ Salisbury, Susan (March 21, 2010). "Juno-based FPL Group to become NextEra Energy". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Florida Trend". Florida Trend. March 25, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  18. ^ Berman, Dave (October 9, 2016). "FPL aims to restore all service in Brevard by today". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 3A. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  19. ^ a b c d Overton, Thomas (September 1, 2013). "Top Plant: Cape Canaveral Next Generation Clean Energy Center, Brevard County, Florida". Power Magazine. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Florida Gas-Fired Power Plant Latest Move Away From Fuel Oil". Platts. April 29, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  21. ^ "FPL's Cape Canaveral natural gas power plant comes online". Electric Light & Power. April 24, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  22. ^ McCarthy, John (April 6, 2011). "FPL plant growing". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 6C. 
  23. ^ Flesher, David (March 16, 2013). "Second old power plant to be destroyed in July". The Sun Sentinel. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  24. ^ "FPL demolishes Port Everglades power plant". ABC Action News. July 16, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Centre, Florida, United States of America". Power-Technology. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Next Generation Clean Energy Center, United States of America". Power Technology. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  27. ^ "FPL plant in Riviera Beach". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  28. ^ "FPL's West County Energy Center will be the nation's largest power plant of its kind, and consumers pay for it". Palm Beach Post. 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2015-05-28. 
  29. ^ Neville, Angela (December 1, 2011). "Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center, Indiantown, Martin County, Florida". Power Magazine. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  30. ^ Puttre, Michael. "FPL Generates Electricity And Experience At Martin Hybrid Solar Facility". Solar Industry Magazine. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Florida's DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center". US News. March 20, 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  32. ^ Neville, Angela (December 1, 2010). "DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, DeSoto County, Florida". Power Magazine. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  33. ^ "FPL needs more water to run Turkey Point". Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  34. ^ Salisbury, Susan (January 26, 2015). "FPL plans to build three solar plants, possible gas-fired plant". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  35. ^ Erickson, Amber (2015-01-28). "Florida Power and Light announces plan for Manatee County Solar Center - Sarasota News | Mysuncoast.com and ABC 7: News". Mysuncoast.com. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  36. ^ Christine Lepisto. "American Crocodile Finds Refuge from Extinction in Nuclear Power Plant". Treehugger. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 
  37. ^ "Sea Turtles Find Refuge At Florida Nuclear Plant". NEI. 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 
  38. ^ Cherine Akbari (2015-02-20). "Manatees Keep Warm at FPL Plant in Riviera Beach". NBC. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 
  39. ^ Salisbury, Susan (February 20, 2015). "Manatees bask in warm waters from FPL's Riviera Beach plant". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  40. ^ Staats, Eric (September 28, 2013). "FP&L works with Collier schools to install solar for educational tool, energy savings". Naples Daily News. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  41. ^ Fishman, Scott (November 12, 2015). "Young At Art Museum installing solar panels". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  42. ^ "Emission Sources". Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  43. ^ Pittman, Craig (June 6, 2007). "PSC bars coal-fired plant". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  44. ^ Hollis, Mark (May 18, 2007). "Groups oppose coal-powered FPL plant". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  45. ^ Buurma, Christine (2007-08-14). "FPL's St. Lucie Nuclear Plant Reduces Power Due To Leak". Dow Jones Newswires. 
  46. ^ "FPL reopens Barley Barber swamp". Sun Sentinel. October 18, 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  47. ^ Pentland, William. "Solar Alliance In Sunshine State May Be Bad News For Jeb Bush". Retrieved 2015-06-16. 
  48. ^ "In Sunshine State, Big Energy Blocks Solar Power". Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. Retrieved 2015-06-16. 
  49. ^ "New Research Pegs the Value for Utility Companies Building Trust with Customers at $8 Billion". Market Strategies. 2014-07-09. Retrieved 2015-04-22. 
  50. ^ "PA Consulting Group honours North American utilities for excellence in reliability at the 2015 ReliabilityOne awards ceremony". PA Consulting. October 23, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  51. ^ "PA Consulting Group recognizes North American utilities for excellence in reliability at the 2014 ReliabilityOne Awards". PA Consulting. November 19, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  52. ^ Bergetis Lundin, Barbara (May 3, 2013). "Florida Power and Light a triple threat". Fierce Energy. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  53. ^ "FPL wins prestigious, national ServiceOne Award for tenth year in a row". FPL. November 21, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 

External links[edit]