Air and Water

We’re one of the cleanest energy companies in America, a feat we’ve achieved by being active stewards for natural resources like air and water.

Toward Cleaner Air 

At NextEra Energy, our investment in emissions-free and clean generation has reduced our impact on the air we breathe and demonstrates our commitment to environmental protection and stewardship.

Conserving and Managing Water

Water is critical for traditional forms of power generation which use water to create steam to drive electric generators and are also used in cooling certain power plant operations. To ensure sustainable access to this natural resource, we're active stewards for sourcing, using and managing water in the communities in which we operate.

We're also taking measures to reduce our water consumption, including investing in both water-free power generation from wind and solar and in more efficient generation in our facilities that use steam turbines.

Florida West County Energy Center

Conserving Water

Just as water plays a critical role in the generation of reliable, affordable power, we understand the vital need to conserve and protect our water resources. We embed water conservation management strategies into our business planning and operational practices to lower costs and mitigate risks posed by water availability. We reduce consumption through efficiency, technology and operational improvements, including:

Investing in water-free power generation: We’ve made a conscious decision to invest in wind and solar generation, which together comprise more than a third of our company's generating capacity. Neither technology uses water for power generation.

Using sustainable water sources: Nearly 79 percent of the water we withdrew in 2016 came from seawater sources, which are non-potable and drought proof. We also use reclaimed water for cooling purposes when feasible, for example at our West County Energy Center in Florida. Doing so offsets the demand for higher-quality water and reduces water supply risk.

As a result of our efforts to conserve water, in 2016, we achieved a 30 percent reduction in our withdrawal per megawatt hour (MWh) compared to our withdrawal rate in 2008. This overall improvement is due to increased efficiencies at our facilities that use steam turbines to generate power, as well as increased generation from water-free sources. Importantly, the majority – nearly 99 percent – of water withdrawn for use at our thermoelectric plants is withdrawn via a once-through cooling system and then returned to its original source. The remainder of the water withdrawn is consumed through evaporation or deep well injection.

Managing Water

As in other areas of our operations, we adopt best practices for water management to minimize our environmental footprint while optimizing operational and financial performance. Existing facilities are constantly challenged to be innovative and to fine-tune their operations. For example:

  • Facilities monitor water quality parameters to ensure proper quality for plant use, as well as adherence to discharge permitting requirements, which protect receiving water bodies. Water quality changes can also help identify potential issues in the system such as leaking pipes or valves.
  •  We use Six Sigma and quality improvement processes to identify opportunities to reduce water use and for cost savings at our facilities, which can ultimately save our customers money.
  • Modernizations completed at three of our power plants in Florida increased the efficiency with which we use water. The modernized plants have greater generation capacity when compared to the previous plants, without using additional water for that capacity.