Status of Solar Energy Generating Capacity:
As of December 31, 2013, NextEra Energy, Inc. owned 687 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic and solar thermal generating capacity in the United States (California, Florida, New Mexico and New Jersey), Canada, and Spain. With the exception of the Solar Energy Generating Station in California, 539 MW came online after the 2007 commitment was made. The company estimates it will add an additional 810 MW of solar capacity in the United States by the end of 2016. In total, this will be nearly three times the original goal of 500 MW. NextEra Energy reached its initial goal as of January 1, 2014. In addition to owning 687 MW of solar generating capacity, NextEra Energy, Inc. also operates an additional 165 MW.
In 2013, about 1.25 million tons of CO2 emissions were avoided as a result of the projects. Based on the result, it is estimated that about 2 million tons of CO2 emissions will be avoided per year once the remainder of the projects under development become operational. At this rate, the total CO2 emissions avoided at the end of the Commitment will be more than twice what was originally estimated. The original projection had estimated 18 million tons avoided CO2 emissions over 20 years.
Between 2007 and 2013, NextEra Energy invested more than $3.6 billion in solar generation projects, which was more than twice its original plan to invest $1.5 billion by 2014. There are several projects currently in construction or under development. With that in mind, the company anticipates about $3.2 billion additional investment on new solar builds between 2013 and 2016.
Status of the Renewable Energy Participation Program:
NextEra Energy's competitive subsidiary, NextEra Energy Resources, launched the EarthEra Renewable Energy Trust in 2009. When customers purchase EarthEra renewable energy certificates and emissions reduction products, 100 percent of the proceeds support new renewable projects that will be built, owned, and operated by NextEra Energy Resources. As of May 31, 2013, approximately $47 million has been committed to the EarthEra Renewable Energy Trust.
Participants in this program include: BNY Mellon, Citigroup, HSBC Bank, SAP, Unilever, The National Geographic Society, ING, Dow Corning, City of Denton, Texas, Monadnock Paper Mills, International Speedway Corp., Norwegian Cruise Lines, Pitney Bowes, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Denver, University of Phoenix, Western Washington University, Port of Portland, Becton Dickinson, CBRE Group, Inc., and Interface, Inc.
Status of Energy Conservation Programs:
Through 2013, NextEra Energy's utility company, Florida Power & Light Company, continued to actively administer energy conservation programs. In fact, the company was ranked second in the nation among all utility companies for its demand-side management (DSM) programs. These programs avoided a total of 4,258,268 MWhs of energy generation (25.7 million MWhs since 2007) and the estimated avoidance of more than 2 million tons of CO2 (13.2 million tons since 2007) in 2013.
Florida Power & Light's DSM programs include residential and commercial/industrial customer programs, such as energy surveys; heating, ventilation and air conditioning efficiency improvements and duct repairs; solar water heating, efficient lighting retrofits and improvements; building envelope improvements; residential and business photovoltaic; and residential and business load control. In 2013, more than 15,000 businesses participated in these energy efficiency programs (more than 100,000 since 2007) and more than 22,000 businesses were part of the load control program. FPL's residential customers were also highly engaged in the DSM programs. In 2013, there were more than 266,000 energy efficiency activities conducted (more than 1.9 million since 2007) and over 820,000 customers participated in the load control program. Since the program's inception in 1981, FPL has helped avoid building 14 additional medium-sized power plants as a result of reduced peak load.
Status of Smart Technology Program:
In 2013, Florida Power & Light Company successfully completed its grid modernization projects, which were supported by the Department of Energy, and the installation of 4.5 million smart meters in its 35-county service area. This has allowed the company to improve its service reliability and better detect problems and prevent outages. The program has also allowed customers more control over their energy use. Moreover, in 2009, FPL began the deployment of state-of-the-art smart grid technologies as part of its commitment to building a smarter, more reliable and more efficient electrical infrastructure. The installation of 4.5 million meters was completed nine months ahead of schedule.
In addition to FPL's own $600 million investment, FPL was one of six utility companies in the United States to receive a $200 million grant from the DOE to help fund one of the largest and most comprehensive grid modernization projects. It took four years for FPL to complete the installation of the smart grid technologies, and it was among the first utilities completed.
FPL's investments in a more efficient electric grid provide customers with tangible benefits and offer a foundation for future benefits and operational efficiencies. For example, the new technology gives a greater information for FPL customers about their energy use so they can make smart decisions about conserving electricity. It also allows a real-time information on the health and performance of the electric grid, therefore an ability to identify outages and diagnose their causes faster, so FPL can restoring power faster when necessary. The new system also provides a verification that power was restored. Moreover, an early warning of power issues enables rerouting electricity around trouble spots, thus confining outages to smaller areas. Finally, remote communications with FPL has become possible through advanced technology.
Currently, NextEra Energy, Inc. operates 259.8 megawatts (MW) of incremental (post-2007) solar generating capacity in the United States (Florida, New Mexico and New Jersey), Canada, and Spain. In addition, the company has 545 MWs of capacity under construction in the United States (This does not include additional projects that may be built or commence construction by the commitment deadline date). The company is well on its way to surpass the 2014 goal of adding 500 MW of solar capacity.
The effect of these projects on avoiding the release of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be associated with burning fossil fuels to generate electricity is growing. The estimated incremental avoided CO2 from currently operating solar units in 2012 was nearly 175,000 tons. However, when all of the projects noted above are operational, the avoided CO2 emissions are projected to be nearly 1.3 million tons per year.
Between 2007 and 2012, NextEra Energy invested nearly $2.7 billion in solar generation projects; about 80% more than the $1.5 billion to which the company committed by 2014. Clearly, with several projects still underway, that number is expected to climb.