NextEra continues ‘building wave’ in Florida, elsewhere

NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) continues to be involved in a ‘building wave’ at both its regulated Florida Power & Light (FPL) subsidiary and its non-utility subsidiaries that are involved in renewable generation, NEE Vice Chairman and CFO Moray Dewhurst told the Barclays conference Sept. 11 in New York.

Such heavy-construction periods can often be pretty costly until the new or updated equipment is placed into service and starts generating revenue, Dewhurst said.

NextEra’s Desert Sunlight project and the Genesis solar project are both expected to be commercially deployed by early 2014. NEE owns 50% of the 550-MW Desert Sunlight project. Genesis is a 250-MW project. Both are located in Riverside County, Calif.

On the regulated front, FPL is upgrading several of its peaking power units in order to comply with tougher NOx standards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

FPL will also be the anchor tenant for a new gas pipeline project in Florida being developed by Spectra Energy (NYSE:SE). FPL is seeking to obtain state regulatory approval by the end of 2013. NextEra would invest more than $1bn in the pipeline project.

Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC, a joint venture of Spectra and NextEra, has been awarded a 465-mile interstate natural gas pipeline project by FPL to provide transportation services for the utility’s power generation needs beginning in May 2017. The project was announced in July.

On the wind power front, Dewhurtst said some of NEE’s wind turbine equipment is not being quite as productive as the company had hoped – although newer wind turbines definitely perform better the older facilities, Dewhurst said.

NextEra is, as a result, refiguring the amount of energy it can expect to receive from certain wind operations, Dewhurst said. Wind gusts in general dipped significantly in August, Dewhurst said.

NextEra Resources expects to bring much new solar and wind generation online in North America over the next several months.

NextEra Energy has nearly 41,000 megawatts of generating capacity, and approximately 15,000 employees in 24 states and Canada. Through its subsidiaries, NextEra Energy generates clean, emissions-free electricity from eight commercial nuclear power units in Florida, New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.