HOLLYWOOD, Fla., July 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With a rumble and a series of controlled explosions over approximately 60 seconds, Florida Power & Light Company today demolished its 1960s-era Port Everglades Power Plant in Hollywood, Fla., to make way for a new, clean energy center powered by American natural gas. The demolition of four 350-foot, candy-cane-striped stacks and four 7,500-ton boilers – a staple of South Florida's skyline for more than 50 years – occurred shortly after sunrise, launching a new era for FPL customers and South Florida.
Today's power plant demolition, which is available for viewing at www.FPL.com/port, is the largest in Florida's history and the company's third in three years. These demolitions are the first step in replacing older, less efficient power plants with new, more efficient facilities that will help contribute to our country's energy independence.
"All of this is helping us reduce our dependence on foreign oil – a 98 percent reduction since 2001 – while saving our customers' money by using more affordable American natural gas sources," said FPL President Eric Silagy. "We're always looking for ways to keep the cost of electricity low for families and businesses while doing what's right for Florida's energy future. Today's boom may have lasted about a minute, but it will be a long-term boom for our state, our economy, our environment and America's push for energy independence."
Improving efficiency to keep customers' bills low
Construction of FPL's Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center will begin in the first quarter of 2014 at the same location of the now-demolished power plant. The new, cleaner and more efficient power plant will begin serving customers in June 2016.
The high-efficiency facility will generate enough electricity to power about 260,000 homes and businesses using 35 percent less fuel than the original plant. This improved fuel efficiency will result in the savings of hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel costs – all of which will be passed along to FPL customers, dollar for dollar. Investments in more efficient power plants are one reason FPL's typical residential customer bill is significantly lower than the national average and the lowest of all 55 electric utilities in Florida as of year-end 2012.
Enhancing the environment
By leveraging state-of-the-art technology, the new energy center will cut the carbon dioxide emissions rate in half and reduce overall air emissions by more than 90 percent. This is the equivalent of removing 46,000 cars from I-95 per year. With these improvements, FPL's environmental profile – already among the best in the United States – will be even more improved.
Increasing energy independence
Building efficient power plants that utilize domestic energy sources such as natural gas also is helping FPL reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. Since 2001, the company has dramatically slashed its use of foreign oil from more than 40 million barrels to less than 1 million barrels in 2012.
Rebuilding the Port Everglades Power Plant is the next step in the company's ongoing push toward greater energy independence. FPL's natural-gas-powered Cape Canaveral Next Generation Clean Energy Center began serving customers in April with another clean energy center slated to come online in Riviera Beach next year. Together, these three plants will save customers an additional $1 billion in fuel charges, helping to keep bills low in the future.
Powering the community and the economy
Beyond the benefits of cleaner air, more efficient electricity and low electric bills, FPL's investment will boost the local economy, creating jobs and injecting millions of dollars in new tax revenue.
The project will create an estimated 650 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs during the height of construction, and support many local businesses. In the first full year of operation, this investment is expected to deliver approximately $20 million in new tax revenue to local governments, such as the City of Hollywood and Broward County, and schools such as Broward County Public Schools.
"This new tax revenue will help our students, our public safety services and our communities," said Patty Asseff, City of Hollywood commissioner and chair of the South Florida Clean Cities Coalition. "We're looking forward to the job creation we'll see during construction as well as a cleaner energy center powered by American natural gas."
Piece of South Florida history
The former Port Everglades Power Plant, located just miles from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in the heart of a busy shipping and cruise port, helped power decades of growth in South Florida since it first came online in 1960. In that time, the surrounding Broward County community has grown in size from about 334,000 to nearly 1.8 million people. Home sizes have increased, and the average number of electric appliances and gadgets in every home has grown. The Port Everglades Power Plant has met the electric demand, while employing hundreds through its lifetime.
"For those of us who worked there, Port Everglades was more than just a power plant," said Tony Rodriguez, former plant supervisor at Port Everglades and FPL's current executive vice president of Power Generation. "We went to work each day knowing we were helping to power growing communities and businesses throughout the region. Through FPL's new energy center, we will be well-positioned to provide more efficient, American-made clean energy, meeting the needs of Florida's future generations."
- Over the course of approximately 60 seconds, eight separate series of explosions toppled each of the four 350-foot stacks and their companion 7,500-ton boilers.
- Using approximately 450 pounds of explosives, demolition experts inserted dynamite charges in pre-drilled holes at the base of each stack and used explosive charges to blast through the boilers' steel.
- Detonated from a command post 1,500 feet away, the sequence of blasts was intended to prevent more than one structure from hitting the ground at one time.
- A large crowd of FPL retirees and current employees, local business owners, and elected officials gathered near the plant to watch the early-morning demolition.
To view the demolition video or learn more about FPL's plans for the clean energy center at Port Everglades, visit www.FPL.com/port or follow us on www.twitter.com/insideFPL and www.facebook.com/FPLconnect using hashtag #FPLport.
NOTE TO EDITORS: For compelling, multi-angle b-roll and images of the demolition, please click here: https://fpl.sharefile.com/d/ba122cb8d1bb4b2e.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest rate-regulated electric utility in Florida and serves the third-largest number of customers of any electric utility in the United States. FPL serves approximately 4.6 million customer accounts and is a leading Florida employer with approximately 10,000 employees as of year-end 2012. During the five-year period ended December 31, 2012, the company delivered the best service reliability among Florida investor-owned utilities. As of year-end 2012, its typical residential customer bills are the lowest in Florida, and based on data available in July 2012, are about 26 percent below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.FPL.com.
Cautionary Statements and Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results
This press 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. (NextEra Energy) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) regarding future operating results and other future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of NextEra Energy's and FPL's control. In some cases, you can identify the forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as "will," "will 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 FPL are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause their actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: effects of extensive regulation of NextEra Energy's and FPL's business operations; inability of NextEra Energy and FPL to recover in a timely manner any significant amount of costs, a return on certain assets or an appropriate return on 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 and FPL; risks of disallowance of cost recovery by FPL based on a finding of imprudent use of derivative instruments; effect of any reductions to or elimination of governmental incentives that support renewable energy projects of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and its affiliated entities (NextEra Energy Resources); impact of new or revised laws, regulations or interpretations or other regulatory initiatives on NextEra Energy and FPL; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL 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 and FPL; capital expenditures, increased operating costs and various liabilities attributable to environmental laws, regulations and other standards applicable to NextEra Energy and FPL; effects on NextEra Energy and FPL of federal or state laws or regulations mandating new or additional limits on the production of greenhouse gas emissions; exposure of NextEra Energy and FPL to significant and increasing compliance costs and substantial monetary penalties and other sanctions as a result of extensive federal regulation of their operations; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of changes in tax laws and in judgments and estimates used to determine tax-related asset and liability amounts; impact on NextEra Energy and FPL of adverse results of litigation; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL 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 and FPL 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 and FPL of a lack of growth or slower growth in the number of customers or in customer usage; impact on NextEra Energy and FPL of severe weather and other weather conditions; risks associated with threats of terrorism and catastrophic events that could result from terrorism, cyber attacks or other attempts to disrupt NextEra Energy's and FPL's business or the businesses of third parties; risk of lack of availability of adequate insurance coverage for protection of NextEra Energy and FPL against significant losses; risk to NextEra Energy Resources of increased operating costs resulting from unfavorable supply costs necessary to provide NextEra Energy Resources' full energy and capacity requirement services; inability or failure by NextEra Energy Resources to hedge effectively its assets or positions against changes in commodity prices, volumes, interest rates, counterparty credit risk or other risk measures; 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 and FPL's hedging and trading procedures and associated risk management tools to protect against significant losses; impact of unavailability or disruption of power transmission or commodity transportation facilities on sale and delivery of power or natural gas by FPL and NextEra Energy Resources; exposure of NextEra Energy and FPL to credit and performance risk from customers, hedging counterparties and vendors; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL of failure of counterparties to perform under derivative contracts or of requirement for NextEra Energy and FPL to post margin cash collateral under derivative contracts; failure or breach of NextEra Energy's and FPL's information technology systems; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL's retail businesses of compromise of sensitive customer data; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL of volatility in the market values of derivative instruments and limited liquidity in OTC markets; impact of negative publicity; inability of NextEra Energy and FPL to maintain, negotiate or renegotiate acceptable franchise agreements with municipalities and counties in Florida; 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; environmental, health and financial risks associated with NextEra Energy's and FPL's ownership of nuclear generation facilities; liability of NextEra Energy and FPL 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 of NextEra Energy or FPL resulting from orders or new regulations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; inability to operate any of NextEra Energy Resources' or FPL's owned nuclear generation units through the end of their respective operating licenses; liability of NextEra Energy and FPL for increased nuclear licensing or compliance costs resulting from hazards posed to their owned nuclear generation facilities; risks associated with outages of NextEra Energy's and FPL's owned nuclear units; effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets on NextEra Energy's and FPL's ability to fund their liquidity and capital needs and meet their growth objectives; inability of NextEra Energy, FPL and NextEra Energy Capital Holdings, Inc. to maintain their current credit ratings; risk of impairment of NextEra Energy's and FPL's liquidity from inability of creditors 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 NextEra Energy's and FPL's 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 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 and FPL discuss these and other risks and uncertainties in their annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012 and other SEC filings, and this press release should be read in conjunction with such SEC filings made through the date of this press release. The forward-looking statements made in this press release are made only as of the date of this press release and NextEra Energy and FPL undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company