NextEra says FPL gas, nuclear capital projects are on track

NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) said Nov. 1 that investment in Florida Power & Light (FPL) natural gas generation and nuclear power is going well.

FPL has been involved in efforts to build new natural gas plants (on the site of old ones) and increase the generating capacity of its existing nuclear plants. Both the FPL Riviera Beach and Port Everglades natural gas plant modernizations remain on schedule with expected in-service dates by mid-2014 and mid-2016, respectively, NextEra said during its third quarter conference call.

Last month, the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) approved FPL’s 2014 nuclear cost recovery clause request, including recovery of the extended power uprate investment completed earlier in 2013. The largest U.S. nuclear upgrade investment in recent history added more than 500 MW of zero-emission generation to the FPL fleet, the company said.

The FPSC last month also approved FPL’s new natural gas transportation capacity contracts with Sabal Trail Transmission and the Florida Southeast Connection. Contingent upon receiving necessary FERC approvals, the company expects construction of the proposed interstate pipeline system to begin in 2016 and for operations to commence in 2017.

FPL also continues to pursue FPSC approval for two additional initiatives to improve reliability and reduce emissions. FPL has filed a plan with the FPSC to accelerate its existing storm hardening program through incremental investments of approximately $400m through 2016 to continue strengthening its infrastructure against tropical storms and hurricanes. In addition, FPL’s annual environmental cost recovery clause filing with the FPSC in July included a request for a program of approximately $820m to upgrade its peaking capacity to comply with new U.S. EPA regulations.

Aside from the regulated utility, non-regulated NextEra Energy Resources achieved commercial operation of 125 MW of Canadian wind in 3Q13.

The non-regulated subsidiary is continuing to work on a backlog of 800 MW of contracted solar projects in the United States. About 300 MW are expected to come into service in 2013, with the balance expected to come into service by the end of 2016, NextEra said.

The parent company reported third quarter net income on a GAAP basis of $698m, or $1.64 per share, compared with $415m, or $0.98 per share, in 3Q12. On an adjusted basis, NextEra Energy’s earnings were $607m, or $1.43 per share, compared with $532m, or $1.26 per share, in 3Q12.

“NextEra Energy delivered strong results in the third quarter as our company continued to execute against our development program as well as our ongoing initiative to improve productivity and take costs out of the business,” said NextEra Energy President and CEO James L. Robo.

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.