EVOLVE Business and Professional Magazine May 2019 - Page 28

POWERING FLORIDA THROUGH INNOVATION by Crystal Stiles Director of Economic Development for Florida Power & Light Company A t Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), we work hard to make Florida an even better place to live, work and raise our families. It’s why our customers’ bills are 30 percent lower than the national average and among the lowest in the state. In fact, our bills are lower than those in 45 other states. It’s part of what makes Florida such an attractive place for business to operate, whether their customers are local, national or international. FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy, is also headquartered right here in Florida, south of Volusia County in Palm Beach County. NextEra Energy is a Fortune 200 company, the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, and a world leader in battery storage. Our company is committed to being sustainable. Sustainability has become our present but it is most definitely our future. We are positioning Florida as a world leader in clean energy. FPL recently announced its “30- by-30” plan to install more than 30 million solar panels by 2030, totaling over 11,000 MW of solar energy generation. | 28 | EVOLVE BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE We already have 18 solar power plants in operation with another four beginning construction in 2019. FPL Pioneer Trail Solar Energy Center in Volusia County began powering customers earlier this year. Also, through a partnership with the leaders at the Daytona International Speedway, one of the community’s greatest economic engines is powered by solar. The FPL Solar Circuit, comprised of more than 7,000 solar panels, has propelled the Speedway to rank in the top five of U.S. professional sports facilities for solar energy installations. The FPL Solar Circuit showcases to millions of visitors from around the world that the Sunshine State is the Solar State. Just recently, we announced a plan to build the world’s largest solar-powered battery system – four times the capacity of the largest battery system in operation – as part of an innovative modernization plan that will accelerate the retirement of two fossil fuel generation units. This future FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center will have 409 megawatts of capacity – the equivalent of approximately 100 million iPhone batteries – when it begins serving customers in late 2021 and will be charged by an existing FPL solar power plant in Manatee County. FPL’s planned renewable energy generation and storage, combined with its nuclear power plants in St. Lucie and Miami-Dade counties, is projected to generate more than 40 percent of its electricity emissions-free by 2030, even as the state’s population – the third highest in the nation – continues to grow. FPL also remains poised to eliminate its only remaining coal plant in Florida by the end of this year. We shut down two coal plants in Jacksonville in 2016