At NextEra Energy, we believe that engaging and partnering with our communities is essential to establishing an environment of mutual trust and respect, which can lead to positive outcomes on issues of mutual concern. That's why we have a variety of initiatives designed to improve community engagement and foster strong ties to the communities in which we operate. Specifically we are:
Getting Out Into Our Communities - At FPL, our Public Engagement Program (PEP) strives to achieve better business results, stakeholder satisfaction and civic leadership by recruiting our executives and employees to be active within their communities by making company-defined presentations to community organizations on issues impacting our communities, our company and our industry. Through these speaking engagements, employees and executives increase the visibility of the company, while building brand trust and goodwill.
Tracking Outreach Meetings - At FPL, our external affairs department publishes the results of its team's presentations and one-on-ones with audiences ranging from rotary clubs and chambers of commerce to homeowners associations and school assembly programs. These meetings allow us the opportunity to listen to our customers and community leaders and consider their concerns when developing our business plans.
Making It Easy to Reach Us - We also solicit feedback from stakeholders on our website and via fact sheets on projects. For instance, NextEra Energy Canada has a website that houses all the relevant information related to our Canadian wind projects with unique emails and one main phone number for general inquiries and another for construction inquiries. Our goal is to be accessible and to ensure that public can reach us via multiple channels. See www.nexteraenergycanada.com for more information. Further, NextEra Energy Canada has a complaint resolution process to immediately respond to and resolve issues communicated to us from the public.
Hosting Open Houses - Hosting Open Houses - Another good example of how we engage proactively with the public is via open houses. In 2013, FPL signed contracts to bring more natural gas into Florida through a new pipeline system. The southern portion of the pipeline will be constructed by Florida Southeast Connection, a wholly owned subsidiary of NEECH. Before filing its application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Florida Southeast Connection hosted a series of open houses along the proposed 126-mile pipeline route in November 2013. The public was invited to come and learn more about the project, including the proposed route and the benefits of the new pipeline system for our state. Florida Southeast Connection continues to provide information to interested parties through its project website as well as local and individual meetings with landowners, elected officials, and other stakeholders. The project is currently in the permitting process with FERC, with a target in-service date of mid-2017.
NextEra Energy Resources also engages local communities throughout North America. The company hosts dinners with landowners who may host renewable energy projects that have been identified for potential development. Open Houses are also provided to explain development projects in the local community.
Spotlight: Donations Help Make a Difference in Local Communities
NextEra Energy Resources believes in building relationships in communities where it has operating assets or has development projects planned or underway. For example, NextEra Energy Canada is making a difference in a local community through its donation of more than $230,000 to the Township of Adelaide Metcalfe in Ontario, Canada. These funds went toward the purchase of a new pumper/fire truck for the local community. The Township is home to the Adelaide Wind Energy Center, a 60-megawatt wind project that has been operating since August 2014. Donations were also made to emergency services in North Dakota near our proposed Brady wind projects.
NextEra Energy Canada also entered a partnership with the Township of Mapleton in 2013. Through the five-year agreement, the company’s Conestogo Wind will contribute $20,000 annually to the community's Trees for Mapleton program. Trees for Mapleton is made up of local landowners and farmers who are working in collaboration with the Township of Mapleton, Wellington County, local Kinsmen club and the local conservation authorities to promote the planting of trees in strategic locations within the township. Since it began in 2006, the Trees for Mapleton initiative has planted thousands of trees across the community.
Spotlight: Tribal Relations
At NextEra Energy Resources, our focus on the communities where we live and work includes building relationships with those who may have an interest in or be impacted by our projects such as federally recognized Indian Tribes. Our work with Tribes includes:
- Issue Avoidance and Resolution: We actively work with Tribes in close proximity to projects throughout project development, construction, and operation, to avoid and/or resolve potential issues that may arise, including cultural resource concerns, as well as to identify ways to positively impact these communities.
- Internal Education: We provide education and training on tribal cultural awareness and consultation regulations to enhance our employees' and contractors' knowledge of and sensitivity to Native American practices, culture and traditions.
- Local, Regional, and National Tribal Community Support: We support key tribal organizations and facilitate Native American vendor and personnel opportunities in an effort to positively impact tribal communities near our projects.
- Business Development: We work with a number of Indian Tribes that wish to develop energy projects on tribal land, which have the potential to provide economic opportunities for tribal communities.