Pioneers of Power: 1925-1929
"We had a heck of a time getting the poles to set in the swamp, mud and muck. But if you put a stick of dynamite on the bottom of a pole, stood it up straight and shot it off, the pole would jump in the air and then drop into the newly created hole. We called that 'shooting the poles.'" -- FPL lineman, on working in the 1920s.
The birth of FPL
FPL was born in the final days of 1925 when
The founding company
FPL's earliest roots can be traced back to Thomas Edison and the General Electric Co. GE created EBASCO (Electric Bond and Share Co.), owner of American Power & Light Co. that held many utilities in the western hemisphere.
FPL - a consolidation
American Power & Light purchased the properties that were consolidated to form FPL on Dec. 28, 1925. The unlikely patchwork of enterprises included small electric generating plants, ice plants, water, gas, fish, telephone, sawmill and street car companies, a steam laundry, an ice factory, a limestone quarry, a sponge fishing boat and even 35 mules and wagons.
Facts about FPL
The new company began its first year of service with
In the first years of its operation, FPL
Dark Days, Brighter Horizons: 1930-1944
"I'll never forget the day the manager told us all of the hotels had been taken over by the Army. And very soon before dawn, we heard men marching in the streets. Once I had to ask soldiers to move a pup tent out of my driveway so I could get to work."
The hurricanes in the 1920s, combined with the stock market crash, sent both Florida and FPL reeling through the Depression years. The challenges included:
By 1939, however, Florida's economic skies were brightening. FPL
Then came 1941 and war. FPL met the challenge and
FPL awarded citation
FPL's response to the war years did not go unnoticed. On Feb. 1, 1944, Admiral W. R. Munroe, commandant of the Seventh Naval District, presented FPL with a Citation for Meritorious Wartime Service. He was quoted: "When we asked for power, we got power; and not, thank God, alibis!"
The Building Years: 1945-1960
"The tendency to persevere, to persist in spite of hindrances, discouragement and impossibilities, it is this that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak."
During the postwar period from 1945-1960, new residents poured into Florida at the rate of 3,000 per week. By 1960, Florida was the 10th most populous state in the nation, compared with its 20th ranking in 1950.
Meeting the explosive demand
Demand for power was so great that FPL quadrupled its generating power by
Financing the growth
To finance Florida's growing demand for power, FPL joined the New York Stock Exchange in 1950. The following year, the company announced a $435 million, 10-year expansion program that would take it into the 1960s.
In 1957, FPL filed for a $4.4 million rate decrease, the first of 11 rate decreases over the next 15 years.
In 1960, FPL built a new unit at Port Everglades with plans for three more units – just in time. New residents were coming from all directions, lured by the Space Age from the north and by simple freedom from the south as Cuban exiles hit Miami's shores.
Space Age to Nuclear Age: 1961-1972
"U.S. Fires Astronaut Out of This World"
Space age challenges
FPL did its part to meet the Space Age challenges of putting a man on the moon. Starting in 1964, FPL built the Cape Canaveral plant to provide
A stormy decade
Weather turned out to be another of FPL's challenges in the 1960s. These stormy years brought the following hurricanes that hit FPL's service areas: Cleo, Dora, Betsy, Alma and Inez.
Nuclear age plants
In 1965, FPL announced plans to build a $100 million nuclear power plant at Turkey Point. In 1972, FPL brought Turkey Point Unit 3 on line, followed by Unit 4 in 1973.
Partnering with the community
In the process of building the Turkey Point plant, FPL found opportunities to partner with community organizations to use Turkey Point land for:
Crisis and Challenge: 1973-1999
"This country cannot be dependent upon foreign oil, or the day will come when the lights will go out."
The 1970s challenged FPL in new ways. Management had to deal with
FPL emerged from this time of crisis to make several important changes:
New nuclear plant
In 1976, St. Lucie unit 1 went on line followed in 1983 by unit 2. Considering the times and circumstances, unit 2's completion in an industry-record six years was an amazing feat.
Through it all, FPL tackled the challenges and flourished, earning
FPL continued to face challenges in the 1990s:
A new "generation" of power plants
State-of-the-art combined cycle units, an industry showcase for efficiency, entered service at the Martin plant in 1994 more than $100 million below budget.
The Fort Lauderdale plant, site of FPL's first power plant construction project in 1925, is repowered in the 1990s to nearly triple the plant's generating capacity.
Growth beyond FPL's service area
FPL Energy (renamed NextEra Energy Resources in 2008) was formed in 1998 to manage NextEra Energy's growing interests in electricity markets outside FPL's Florida service area. The subsidiary focuses on clean energy technologies and fuels such as
New Growth: 2000-2009
"I believe it's wholly irresponsible and unacceptable for corporate leaders such as those at Enron to say they did not know -- or suggest it was not their duty to know -- about the operations and activities of their company. This is especially so when it comes to risks that threaten the fundamental viability of their company."
Quote: Lew Hay, FPL Group Chairman and CEO, 2002.
Industry and economic challenges
In the first few years of the new century, a range of challenges bore down on the electric industry, including FPL Group:
New ways to manage
FPL also sharpened its focus on improving customer satisfaction and continuing its commitment to quality and reliability with progressive measures such as:
In 2002, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a $1 billion rate reduction for FPL customers through 2005. The agreement built upon a similar three-year, $1 billion rate decrease in 1999 - the largest in Florida history at the time.
In August 2005, the PSC approved a new rate agreement ensuring that base electric rates for FPL customers would not increase through 2006.
As FPL prepared for the challenges that lie ahead, the company continued to deliver quality products and services at reasonable prices.
Disciplined growth beyond Florida
During this period, FPL Energy grew to become one of the largest developers and operators of wind energy in the world, and an industry leader in the production of nuclear energy.
In 2002, FPL Energy acquired a controlling interest in one of the nation's newest nuclear power plants, Seabrook Station in New Hampshire. In 2005, it completed a purchase of a majority interest in the Duane Arnold Energy Center, a nuclear plant in Iowa, and in 2007 the Point Beach nuclear plant in Wisconsin was acquired. Seabrook, Duane Arnold and Point Beach plants have excellent safety records and are focused on reliable operation. These three facilities have excellent safety records and are focused on reliable operation.
FPL FiberNet, a subsidiary formed in 2000, delivers wholesale and enterprise telecommunications services throughout most major metropolitan areas in Florida and Texas with additional connectivity to Georgia, New York, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. FPL FiberNet is the broadband provider of choice for large financial and healthcare institutions, professional service companies, as well as the education and government sector. In addition, FPL FiberNet provides network access for the largest wireless carriers in the nation.
Hurricanes of 2004-05
Powerful hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 devastated large parts of FPL's 27,000 square mile service area, wreaking widespread damage and disrupting electric service to more than five million homes and businesses. Over a period of many years, the company had refined an action plan to quickly rebuild and restore stricken areas in the aftermath of storms. This plan was implemented during the storms of 2004 and 2005 and continues to be refined.
Beginning in 2008, FPL has been investing in modernizing three 1960s-era, oil- and gas-fired power plants into high-efficiency, natural gas-fired energy centers that will be approximately 33 percent more efficient and 90 percent cleaner than the facilities they replace. The Cape Canaveral Next Generation Clean Energy Center began serving customers in 2013, and a similar facility in Riviera Beach, Fla., came online in 2014. The third modernized power plant, in Broward County, is expected to be completed in 2016.
The Next Era Begins: 2010–present
A new name
In 2010, FPL Group was renamed NextEra Energy, properly rebranding the company as a forward-looking enterprise that sees the future and gets there first. With leadership positions in renewable energies such as wind and solar that represent the way electric power will be increasingly provided to future generations, the name NextEra Energy is fitting indeed.
Continued value for FPL customers
In Florida, FPL provides outstanding value to its 4.7 million customers. FPL's electric service is affordable, reliable and clean.
An innovative smart grid
FPL's smart grid investments include the installation of more than 10,000 intelligent devices on the electric grid, enhancements to centers that monitor the performance of the grid, and the installation of about 4.5 million smart meters for residential and business customers. These advanced technologies are already enabling important customer benefits, while laying the foundation for additional benefits in the future.
Continued investment in wind
NextEra Energy Resources (the former FPL Energy) has continued to grow its position as the largest owner and operator of wind generation facilities in North America.
In 2012, this business added roughly 1,500 MW of wind generation in the United States, more than any company had ever done before.
By the end of 2013, it was generating more electric power from the wind than from any other fuel source, on the strength of nearly 9,300 individual wind turbines on 1100 wind farms and 19 states and four Canadian provinces.
Solar comes of age
NextEra Energy is one of the largest generators of emissions-free solar power in the United States. It produces solar energy in Florida (the Sunshine State), California, Nevada, New Jersey, and New Mexico, as well as Canada.
In Florida, FPL has built three commercial-scale renewable energy facilities that capture the sun to generate electricity:
Expanding our nuclear capacity
In 2013 NextEra Energy completed the largest multi-site nuclear uprate project in U.S. history. The multi-billion expansion program at its St. Lucie site, north of West Palm Beach, Fla., its Turkey Point facility, south of Miami, Fla., and its Point Beach site near Green Bay, Wisc., involved six separate nuclear units and yielded an increase of approximately 700 MWe in net generating capacity. That is, enough new megawatts to produce the same amount of electricity as would a medium-sized power plant, without having to build one or even expand the footprint of these existing plants. Over the operating lifetime of this added capacity, customers are expected to save billions of dollars in fossil fuel costs.
In addition, FPL is also pursuing the licenses for two new nuclear units at the existing Turkey Point site. FPL projects these units would save customers approximately $64 billion in fossil fuel costs over an initial 40-year lifespan.
Investing in North American electricity transmission
As new power generation facilities become operational, it's important to deliver that electricity to where it's needed. NextEra Energy Transmission is pursuing opportunities to develop, build and operate new transmission facilities.