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FPL announces plans to move forward with next major investment in continued modernization of its power plant fleet, building on successful strategy of advancing affordable clean energy in Florida



JUNO BEACH, Fla., July 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today announced the next major planned investment in its ongoing effort to modernize its fleet of power plants. As several older, less-efficient generating units are phased out, the company plans to add a new, high-efficiency energy center that would begin generating cleaner, more-efficient electricity in 2019 to meet the needs of Florida's growing population and economy while helping reduce emissions and keep customer rates and bills low.

www.FPL.com.

The addition of a new combined-cycle power plant fueled by clean, U.S.-produced natural gas is the best, most economical option to meet anticipated customer needs beginning in 2019, according to the company's extensive analysis. If approved by regulators, the new plant would be built on company-owned property in northeastern Okeechobee County, Fla., and enter service by mid-2019. The facility would complement other major system improvements, including the three new large-scale solar power plants that FPL is building before the end of 2016.

"We're building on our successful strategy of phasing out older, inefficient facilities and replacing them with advanced, high-efficiency clean-energy technology in a way that ensures we can meet the growing energy needs of Floridians while keeping their electric rates low," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "The strategy is working: our system is among the cleanest and most fuel-efficient in the U.S., and our typical customer bills are about 30 percent lower than the national average."

"While the cost of most goods and services has increased in recent years, we have been able to reduce the cost of electricity for our customers. Essentials like housing ? up 20 percent ? to healthcare ? up 35 percent ? keep rising, but FPL's typical customer bill is 10 percent lower than it was nearly a decade ago," Silagy added.

Investments in high-efficiency, natural gas energy centers since 2001 have enabled FPL to cut its use of foreign oil by more than 99 percent ? from more than 40 million barrels to less than 1 million barrels annually today. Since 2001, the effectiveness of these investments has saved FPL customers more than $7.5 billion on fuel costs and prevented more than 85 million tons of carbon emissions.

"U.S.-produced natural gas is critical to keeping our customers free from past dependence on foreign oil," said Silagy. "By using clean natural gas along with cost-effective energy efficiency programs and zero-emissions nuclear and solar power, we can continue to reliably deliver affordable clean energy for our customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, now and in the future."

FPL operates a diverse portfolio of energy sources, including solar, nuclear and natural gas, to power the state's growing population and economy. The company currently serves approximately 4.8 million customer accounts in Florida, a number expected to increase to 5 million accounts serving more than 10 million people by 2019. As part of its ten-year forecast of future energy requirements filed with the Florida Public Service Commission in March 2015, FPL projected a significant need for additional firm power generation beginning in 2019 ? and more in the years that follow. Firm power capability ? the backbone of a reliable electric system ? means that electricity is available to a utility's customers at any time of day or night.

The company's forecast takes into account substantial energy conservation and the addition of three new large-scale solar plants that FPL expects to complete in 2016. It also includes the FPL Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center, the company's most recent natural gas power plant modernization project, which continues to progress on budget and on schedule to enter service in mid-2016. FPL previously completed similar major modernizations, building high-efficiency, natural gas-fueled clean energy centers at Cape Canaveral and Riviera Beach in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Both projects were completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

FPL also continues to retire older, inefficient power plants. In December 2014, the company retired its 500-megawatt facility in Putnam County, a gas- and oil-fueled generating plant that served FPL customers well for many decades. The timing of the plant's retirement enabled cost savings for customers as FPL's modernized system is generating cleaner, more fuel-efficient electricity than ever before. Also last year, the company retired a 400-megawatt, 1960s-era, gas- and oil-fueled unit in Miami-Dade County from regular generating service, converting it to operate in synchronous condenser mode to provide voltage support for the power transmission system in southeastern Florida. A second similar unit is scheduled to be converted in 2017.

Two significant long-term agreements to purchase power from older natural gas and coal units, totaling more than 1,300 megawatts of capacity, are expected to expire before mid-2019. In addition, FPL recently announced its plan to acquire the 250-megawatt, coal-fueled Cedar Bay Generating Plant in Jacksonville, Fla., which it has had under a long-term contract to purchase power since 1988. After completing the purchase, FPL plans to immediately terminate the unfavorable contract, which is currently costing customers more than the value of the power it produces, and reduce the plant's operations by 90 percent. Based on the company's current analysis of operational needs, it expects to permanently shutter the plant within the next two to three years. This plan alone is projected to save FPL customers an estimated $70 million and prevent nearly 1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

FPL Okeechobee Clean Energy Center
To meet the anticipated need for firm power generation in 2019, FPL issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) during the first quarter of 2015 to invite prospective bids from interested power providers for firm generation. Despite substantial early interest from more than 20 companies, none chose to compete with FPL's Okeechobee Clean Energy Center proposal. The company received only one partial bid that did not conform to the terms of the RFP and fell far short of meeting the required energy need.

FPL expects to build the proposed new facility for a cost of approximately $670 per kilowatt, which is lower in cost than any comparable plant being built in the world today.

"One of the big advantages that FPL has is the scale of our system in Florida and the ability to leverage the combined purchasing power of FPL and our sister company, NextEra Energy Resources. FPL is investing an average of more than $3 billion a year in Florida and combined, our corporation invests over $7 billion a year throughout North America.  Being the largest investor in Florida and one of the largest in America gives us the opportunity to establish strong relationships with the top suppliers throughout the energy industry supply chain," Silagy said. "This enables us to get better prices and access to cutting-edge technology ? whether we're ordering multiple high-tech turbines for natural gas energy centers or 1 million PV panels for our three new solar plants ? which help us continue to keep our customer bills low and reliability high."

FPL's proposed Okeechobee Clean Energy Center is expected to have a generating capacity of approximately 1,600 megawatts, enough to deliver affordable clean energy to more than 300,000 homes. The estimated $1.2 billion investment would create an average of 300 good-paying jobs during the two-year construction process and as many as 600 jobs during peak work periods. The facility would also produce millions of dollars annually in new tax and other revenue for the local economy.

"Not only would this new plant help us meet the needs of Florida's growing population and economy, it would also be one of the lowest-cost, cleanest and most efficient of its kind in the world," Silagy added. "In addition, the plant site has sufficient space to accommodate large-scale solar power generation, which we hope to add in the future as the cost of solar technology continues to decline."

Before the proposed new plant can be built, plans must undergo comprehensive reviews by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Public Service Commission and a number of other county, state and federal government agencies ? a process expected to take 14-16 months. FPL intends to file for regulatory approval in the coming months. If the planned facility receives all needed approvals on the anticipated schedule, construction would start in 2017, and the new plant would begin powering customers in mid-2019.

Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving approximately 4.8 million customer accounts across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30 percent lower than the latest national average and, in 2014, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the fifth year in a row. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company was recognized in 2014 as the most trusted U.S. electric utility by Market Strategies International, and has earned the national ServiceOne Award for outstanding customer service for an unprecedented 10 consecutive years. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,700 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, including being ranked in the top 10 worldwide for innovativeness and community responsibility as part of Fortune's 2015 list of "World's Most Admired Companies." NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.

Cautionary Statements and Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts, but instead represent the current expectations of NextEra Energy, Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, NextEra Energy) regarding future operating results and other future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of NextEra Energy's control. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, among others, statements concerning future operating performance. In some cases, you can identify the forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as "will," "may result," "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "intend," "plan," "seek," "aim," "potential," "projection," "forecast," "predict," "goals," "target," "outlook," "should," "would" or similar words or expressions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future performance. The future results of NextEra Energy and its business and financial condition are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, or may require it to limit or eliminate certain operations. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: effects of extensive regulation of NextEra Energy's business operations; inability of NextEra Energy to recover in a timely manner any significant amount of costs, a return on certain assets or a reasonable return on invested capital through base rates, cost recovery clauses, other regulatory mechanisms or otherwise; impact of political, regulatory and economic factors on regulatory decisions important to NextEra Energy; disallowance of cost recovery based on a finding of imprudent use of derivative instruments; effect of any reductions to or elimination of governmental incentives that support utility scale renewable energy projects or the imposition of additional taxes or assessments on renewable energy; impact of new or revised laws, regulations or interpretations or other regulatory initiatives on NextEra Energy; effect on NextEra Energy of potential regulatory action to broaden the scope of regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) financial derivatives and to apply such regulation to NextEra Energy; capital expenditures, increased operating costs and various liabilities attributable to environmental laws, regulations and other standards applicable to NextEra Energy; effects on NextEra Energy of federal or state laws or regulations mandating new or additional limits on the production of greenhouse gas emissions; exposure of NextEra Energy to significant and increasing compliance costs and substantial monetary penalties and other sanctions as a result of extensive federal regulation of its operations; effect on NextEra Energy of changes in tax laws and in judgments and estimates used to determine tax-related asset and liability amounts; impact on NextEra Energy of adverse results of litigation; effect on NextEra Energy of failure to proceed with projects under development or inability to complete the construction of (or capital improvements to) electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities or other facilities on schedule or within budget; impact on development and operating activities of NextEra Energy resulting from risks related to project siting, financing, construction, permitting, governmental approvals and the negotiation of project development agreements; risks involved in the operation and maintenance of electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities and other facilities; effect on NextEra Energy of a lack of growth or slower growth in the number of customers or in customer usage; impact on NextEra Energy of severe weather and other weather conditions; threats of terrorism and catastrophic events that could result from terrorism, cyber attacks or other attempts to disrupt NextEra Energy's business or the businesses of third parties; inability to obtain adequate insurance coverage for protection of NextEra Energy against significant losses and risk that insurance coverage does not provide protection against all significant losses; a prolonged period of low gas and oil prices could impact NextEra Energy's gas infrastructure business and cause NextEra Energy to delay or cancel certain gas infrastructure projects and for certain existing projects to be impaired, risk of increased operating costs resulting from unfavorable supply costs necessary to provide full energy and capacity requirement services; inability or failure to manage properly or hedge effectively the commodity risk within its portfolio; potential volatility of NextEra Energy's results of operations caused by sales of power on the spot market or on a short-term contractual basis; effect of reductions in the liquidity of energy markets on NextEra Energy's ability to manage operational risks; effectiveness of NextEra Energy's risk management tools associated with its hedging and trading procedures to protect against significant losses, including the effect of unforeseen price variances from historical behavior; impact of unavailability or disruption of power transmission or commodity transportation facilities on sale and delivery of power or natural gas; exposure of NextEra Energy to credit and performance risk from customers, hedging counterparties and vendors; failure of counterparties to perform under derivative contracts or of requirement for NextEra Energy to post margin cash collateral under derivative contracts; failure or breach of NextEra Energy's information technology systems; risks to NextEra Energy's retail businesses from compromise of sensitive customer data; losses from volatility in the market values of derivative instruments and limited liquidity in OTC markets; impact of negative publicity; inability to maintain, negotiate or renegotiate acceptable franchise agreements; increasing costs of health care plans; lack of a qualified workforce or the loss or retirement of key employees; occurrence of work strikes or stoppages and increasing personnel costs; NextEra Energy's ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate acquisitions, including the effect of increased competition for acquisitions; environmental, health and financial risks associated with ownership and operation of nuclear generation facilities; liability of NextEra Energy for significant retrospective assessments and/or retrospective insurance premiums in the event of an incident at certain nuclear generation facilities; increased operating and capital expenditures at nuclear generation facilities resulting from orders or new regulations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; inability to operate any owned nuclear generation units through the end of their respective operating licenses; liability for increased nuclear licensing or compliance costs resulting from hazards, and increased public attention to hazards, posed to owned nuclear generation facilities; risks associated with outages of owned nuclear units; effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets on NextEra Energy's ability to fund its liquidity and capital needs and meet its growth objectives; inability to maintain current credit ratings; impairment of liquidity from inability of credit providers to fund their credit commitments or to maintain their current credit ratings; poor market performance and other economic factors that could affect NextEra Energy's defined benefit pension plan's funded status; poor market performance and other risks to the asset values of nuclear decommissioning funds; changes in market value and other risks to certain of NextEra Energy's investments; effect of inability of NextEra Energy subsidiaries to pay upstream dividends or repay funds to NextEra Energy or of NextEra Energy's performance under guarantees of subsidiary obligations on NextEra Energy's ability to meet its financial obligations and to pay dividends on its common stock; and effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets of the market price of NextEra Energy's common stock. NextEra Energy discusses these and other risks and uncertainties in its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and other SEC filings, and this news release should be read in conjunction with such SEC filings made through the date of this news release. The forward-looking statements made in this news release are made only as of the date of this news release and NextEra Energy undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

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SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company


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