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NextEra Energy Unit Builds Clean Energy Facility for $1.2B

Diversified utility NextEra Energy’s NEE subsidiary, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), has expanded its renewable energy generation fleet with the commissioning of the Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center.

The Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center is part of company’s ongoing initiatives to modernize its power generation fleet in order to provide clean, affordable, reliable energy to its customers. Earlier, the company had made similar investments to upgrade its Riviera Beach and Cape Canaveral plants.

Details of the Plant

The Port Everglades facility replaces a primitive oil-fired power plant that had been dismantled in mid-2013. The new power plant, on the other hand, will reduce the company's dependence on foreign fuel by using domestically produced natural gas for generating cleaner and cheaper energy.

The Port Everglades plant is located near Fort Lauderdale in Broward County. It began commercial operations on Apr 1, two months ahead of schedule. Notably, FPL has spent nearly $1.2 billion for building the facility.

The new energy center is capable of generating nearly 1,277 megawatts of electricity, which is sufficient for catering to the energy requirement of more than a quarter million residential customers.

Long-Term Plans

NextEra plans to invest $16 billion for further infrastructural upgrades at the Fort Everglades, Lauderdale and Fort Myers facilities during the 2014–2017 time frame. The company expects to execute additional investments in 2018 and beyond to improve customer reliability and retention by providing reliable, affordable and efficient service.

Benefits for Customers

Backed by smart investments in high-efficiency energy centers that use less fuel to generate more energy, FPL has been trimming fuel costs and enabling customers to save more than $8 billion in electricity bills since 2001. In fact, the company has the reputation of ensuring one of the lowest electric bills in the state, which is also 30% lower than the national average. The Port Everglades facility utilizes 35% less fuel per megawatt-hour, which should allow customers to save a total of $400 million throughout its 30 years of operation.

Environmental Advantages

The company’s relentless focus on clean energy and infrastructural upgrades will allow it to meet the EPA's Clean Power Plan targets by as early as 2030. Compared to its predecessor, the new energy center is capable of reducing air emissions by more than 90% and carbon dioxide emissions by half, which is the same as removing 46,000 cars off the highway each year.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

NextEra Energy currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same space include Atlantic Power Corporation AT, Black Hills Corporation BKH and Calpine Corporation CPN. While both Atlantic Power Corporation and Black Hills Corporation sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Calpine Corporation carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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NEXTERA ENERGY (NEE): Free Stock Analysis Report
CALPINE CORP (CPN): Free Stock Analysis Report
BLACK HILLS COR (BKH): Free Stock Analysis Report
ATLANTIC PWR CP (AT): Free Stock Analysis Report
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