Advocating for Clean Air
For decades, NextEra Energy has been reducing emissions through the development of renewable energy and modernization of its generation fleet. The company’s goal is to reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rate 67% by 2025, from a 2005 baseline. This equates to a nearly 40% reduction in absolute CO2 emissions, despite the company’s total expected electricity production almost doubling from 2005 to 2025. Working toward this goal, as of year-end 2020, NextEra Energy has reduced its CO2 rate by 57% and the absolute CO2 tons by 24% while our generation increased 75%. NextEra Energy expects to periodically update its CO2 emissions goal as it continues to execute on its strategy of being a leading clean energy infrastructure company.*
Reducing emissions with a cleaner fleet
In 2020, 98% of the power produced by NextEra Energy's facilities was generated from a diverse mix of clean or renewable sources, including wind, solar, natural gas and nuclear. Along with NextEra Energy Resources being the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, FPL's investments in affordable clean energy infrastructure, which includes adding advanced technologies and phasing out older coal-fired and oil-burning power plants, has saved customers over $10.5 billion in fossil fuel costs and prevented nearly 150 million tons of CO2 emissions since 2001.
FPL has invested in advanced generation technology to modernize our older, outdated power plants to highly efficient natural gas facilities that produce more energy with less fuel and substantially lower emissions.
We are also greatly reducing our reliance on coal and oil -- in addition to shutting down two coal facilities within the past two years, we are planning to retire an additional coal facility by the end of 2020 and our ownership share in another unit by early 2022. FPL has also launched our groundbreaking '30-by-30' plan to install 30 million solar panels by 2030. As projected, FPL's solar outpaced coal and oil combined as a percentage of the company's energy mix in 2020.
NextEra Energy acquired Gulf Power in January 2019 and immediately began identifying investments to improve reliability and expand clean energy, while working to reduce costs for customers. The Blue Indigo Solar Energy Center, Gulf Power’s first solar development project, came online in early 2020. In 2020, we were able to complete the accelerated shut down of coal units at the Gulf Clean Energy Center, formerly Plant Crist. A new transmission line is being developed to connect the Gulf Power and FPL systems. As these investments come into service, Gulf Power’s CO2 emissions rate is expected to be reduced by approximately 30% in the first three years of NextEra Energy’s ownership.
Conserving and Managing Water
Water is critical for traditional forms of power generation, which use water to drive electric steam generators as well as to cool certain power plant equipment. 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. NextEra Energy operates power generation across the United States. Only one generation facility that uses water is located in a region of high or extremely high water stress in the United States, and this facility represents only 0.08% of our company’s total water consumption.
We continue to take measures to reduce our water consumption, including investing in both water-free power generation from wind and solar and in more efficient generation at our facilities that use steam turbines.
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 efficient. 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. This also leads to cost savings at our facilities, which can ultimately save our customers money.
- Modernizations completed at three of our power plants in Florida increased how efficiently we use water. The modernized plants have greater generation capacity when compared to the previous plants, without using additional water to reach that capacity.
*The CO2 emissions goal is based on NextEra Energy's owned generation. Achievement of the CO2 emissions goals will be dependent on many factors, including, but not limited to, governmental policy and mergers and acquisitions.
*Calculation for biodiesel accounts for the life cycle of carbon, as established by Biodiesel.org.
*Please note that the environmental attributes of NextEra Energy's electric generating facilities have been or likely will be sold or transferred to third parties, who are solely entitled to the reporting rights and ownership of the environmental attributes, such as renewable energy credits, emissions reductions, offsets, allowances and the avoided emission of greenhouse gas emissions.