April 2, 2014
Florida Power & Light Company announced that, in an effort to offer more customers the choice to support solar power, it is proposing a voluntary, community-based, solar partnership pilot for consideration by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC).
If approved, FPL will install new solar-powered generating facilities in Florida communities, funded by voluntary contributions from FPL customers who choose to participate in the pilot program. Key to its design, and unlike current solar rebate programs, the pilot will not increase electric bills for customers who choose not to participate.
"As the leader in providing the most solar power in the Sunshine State, FPL has long been committed to planning for Florida's clean-energy future, and we, along with our customers, believe solar should play an increasing role in Florida's energy mix," said Eric Silagy, president of FPL. "For customers who care deeply about advancing clean energy - including those who may not have the ability or desire to install their own solar systems - we are proposing to create a voluntary, community-based partnership that is designed to help grow solar in Florida without costing a penny for those who choose not to participate."
Through this voluntary pilot program, FPL customers will have the opportunity to elect to contribute to advancing solar power in Florida for $9 a month. During the next three years, FPL projects that the program could support the construction of as many as 25 commercial-scale, distributed solar arrays - each roughly 10 to 15 times larger than a typical residential rooftop installation - for an estimated total of up to 2,400 kilowatts (2.4 megawatts), depending on customer participation.
"We know that some of our customers have an affinity for solar power, but we also know that for a variety of reasons, many are not able to install it themselves. This pilot program will allow us, along with the PSC, to truly gauge customer interest in supporting solar power," said Silagy. "Ultimately, any program we offer must be designed to benefit all of our customers, and this voluntary, community-based solar program is designed with that goal in mind."
The pilot program is expected to begin accepting voluntary customer contributions in 2015. FPL plans to provide the initial necessary funding so that the installation of at least the first two to five solar arrays can begin in early 2015, in anticipation of receiving sufficient funding from customers. The arrays will be constructed by local, Florida-based solar installers selected through a competitive bid process.
As an incentive to encourage customer participation during the three-year pilot, the charitable foundation of FPL's parent company, NextEra Energy, will contribute a total of $200,000 a year on behalf of the program to Florida-based non-profit organizations and local chapters of national non-profits dedicated to environmental protection and community development. Customers who sign up for the pilot will have the opportunity to select their preferred organization from a list of several well-recognized, reputable non-profits, including the Everglades Foundation, Save the Manatee Club and the Florida chapters of the National Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy.
"The Everglades Foundation believes that solar energy is an important component of an overall strategy to reduce Florida's and the nation's dependence on fossil fuels. FPL's voluntary solar partnership plan is an example of the leadership and innovation needed for a better and greener Florida," said Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation.
Among the first communities selected to host the new solar arrays are Fort Lauderdale, Sarasota and West Palm Beach, Fla. FPL is also working with additional communities across the company's 35-county territory to determine sites for potential installations based on a variety of factors, including space availability and local customer interest in the program.
"West Palm Beach is committed to working closely with leaders such as FPL who share our vision for a brighter energy future and one that includes more solar energy. The voluntary solar program is a novel way to overcome the barriers that prevent some of our residents and businesses from contributing to clean, renewable solar power," said Mayor Jeri Muoio.
"The City of Fort Lauderdale is excited about the possibility of partnering with FPL to bring renewable energy generation to our neighbors. This type of program will help the City continue to work toward its vision of being a sustainable community now and into the future," said City Manager Lee Feldman.
FPL customers can visit www.FPL.com/solar to learn more about the proposed new pilot program and FPL's other solar initiatives, including the company's three large-scale solar energy centers, which have a combined generating capacity of 110 megawatts.
FPL's website also includes information about existing solar pilot programs that were mandated by the PSC during its 2009-2010 demand-side management (DSM) proceedings. From 2011 through 2013, these programs cost FPL customers nearly $30 million, including $16.5 million to provide rebate subsidies for about 900 customers' individual small-scale solar-panel installations - the least economical form of solar photovoltaic (PV) power. FPL's analysis determined that these existing pilots are not cost-effective as they cost all customers more to fund than the benefits they generate.
With cost-effectiveness in mind, FPL today also filed updated data with the PSC regarding 10-year projections for energy efficiency. The filing includes the company's proposed goals for energy efficiency that would be achieved through cost-effective DSM programs during the 2015-2024 timeframe.
"All customers bear the cost of PSC-mandated energy-efficiency programs, whether they use them or not, so it's important we take a close look at them through the regulatory process. By streamlining our efforts to ensure we focus squarely on proven, cost-effective programs, our customers will benefit from both lower electric rates and increased energy savings," said Silagy.
FPL customers are expected to benefit from approximately 13 percent more energy efficiency over the next decade, versus comparable 2009 projections, as a result of the company's proposed DSM goals, stricter state building codes and federal equipment manufacturing standards. At the same time, FPL's updated goals would reduce the costs that customers pay for DSM through their monthly electricity bills.
During 2010 through 2014, FPL customers will pay a total of more than $1 billion in order to meet mandated DSM goals. Beginning in 2015, FPL's updated proposal would reduce DSM costs by an estimated $80 million a year. If approved by the PSC, FPL customers would begin to see these savings reflected in lower conservation charges on their electric bills as early as January 2015.
"Fundamentally, it makes no sense for our customers to over-pay for energy efficiency, particularly given the significant strides we've made in this area and the fact that many of our customers are already taking action to be more energy-efficient without the need for utility-administered incentives," said Silagy.
FPL's updated DSM goals are consistent with the nation's changing energy landscape, which is becoming increasingly more energy efficient. Coupled with the benefits of FPL's operational enhancements, fuel-efficient power plants and other improvements, the result is a declining need for customer rates to fund utility-administered DSM programs.
"We firmly believe that when looked at holistically, the two proposals - FPL's new voluntary, community-based solar partnership and updated demand-side management goals - are a powerful combination that could very well produce a significant amount of solar power without a mandated subsidy, lower what is already the lowest typical residential bill in the state and help continue to move Florida's economy forward - all of which is great news for Floridians," Silagy said.
For the fifth year in a row, FPL's typical 1000-kWh residential customer bill will continue to be the lowest in Florida and approximately 25 percent lower than the national average. To help customers discover ways to make their bills even lower through efficiency, FPL has provided more than 3.3 million individualized home energy surveys and 190,000 business energy evaluations to date. The company is recommending that the PSC approve the continued offering of these educational programs for the period 2015-2024.
"Rather than pursuing one-size-fits-all mandates, we believe in empowering our customers by providing cutting-edge tools that give families and businesses more information and more control over their energy usage than ever before, and in so doing, taking actions that best suit their lives," Silagy said.
For more information about these and other customer programs, visit www.FPL.com/toolkit.
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 4.7 million customer accounts and is a leading Florida employer with approximately 8,900 employees as of year-end 2013. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential bill is the lowest among reporting electric utilities in Florida as of year-end 2013, and based on data available in July 2013, is about 28 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 delivered better than 99.98 percent service reliability as of year-end 2013. FPL has earned the national ServiceOne Award for outstanding customer service for an unprecedented 10 consecutive years. 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. (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. 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 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; 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 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; 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 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 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, 2013 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 undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
For more information :
Florida Power and Light Co.
700 Universe Blvd
Juno Beach, Florida
United States, 33408-0420
Contact person: Florida Power & Light Co.