Sustaining the Future


The gentlest footprint

Sustainability goes beyond simply using renewable and clean energy sources to generate electricity. It goes to the respect NextEra Energy Resources has for the land when we develop, build and operate our
power plants - how we minimize our impact on wildlife, land and water. Our actions in this area have been acknowledged in environmental awards and recognitions.
 

Clearing the air

NextEra Energy, Inc., is among the nation's top generating utilities, yet we are one of the cleanest, too, producing some of the lowest levels of nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity. In addition, NextEra Energy Resources wind facilities have enabled our customers who have purchased the renewable attributes to reduce 2015 emissions that would otherwise have been released into the atmosphere from other sources of power generation, including:
  • More than 28.6 million tons of carbon dioxide 
  • More than 29,400 tons of sulfur dioxide 
  • More than 20,800 tons of nitrogen oxide
The majority of NextEra Energy Resources plants that do not use renewable fuel sources, such as wind or solar, use natural gas, the cleanest-burning fossil fuel available. Where possible, we pair this with combined-cycle technology, which uses waste heat to drive an additional power generator for increased energy efficiency and lower emissions than conventional fossil-fueled units. In addition, we have incorporated clean nuclear energy into our fuel mix through the addition of the Seabrook Station in New Hampshire, the Duane Arnold Energy Center in Iowa and the Point Beach Nuclear Plant in Wisconsin. Nuclear power plants produce no greenhouse gas emissions, which many scientists believe contribute to global warming.

Protecting our water

Water is an important part of power generation. Sustainable energy production demands wise use of water resources.
  • Our wind plants require no water at all to generate electricity, which makes them increasingly important in areas of the country where demands on water resources are high.
  • A number of our natural gas-fired plants are zero-discharge facilities and reuse their industrial wastewater rather than discharging it to waterways.
  • At other natural gas plants, NextEra Energy Resources uses gray water from local municipal treatment plants for cooling, reducing the amount of water drawn from local waterways and reducing the amount of processed water discharged into waterways by the treatment plants.

Preserving our land

NextEra Energy Resources wind plants stand on land we lease from farmers and ranchers. Many of our other power plants sit in the middle of small towns or rural areas. They do their work year after year woven into the land and people's lives.
  • Land for our wind sites belongs to other people who allow us to be there. It's important to them that they continue using their land as they always have to raise crops or livestock, for hunting, for timber and many other uses. We work with landowners on wind turbine placement to ensure minimal impact on their farming practices and other land uses and to ensure public health and safety.
  • When evaluating a location for a potential wind site we look at current land use, wetlands, waterways and wildlife habitat, among other criteria.

Wildlife

Plants and wildlife differ at NextEra Energy Resources locations across the country, but our responsibility is the same - protect these species at our sites. Here's a look at just a handful of our wildlife conservation activities at NextEra Energy Resources.
  • In the desert of Southern California, at our solar energy facilities, we have installed fencing around the site to keep the desert tortoise away from the solar panels.
  • At our Duane Arnold Energy Center in Iowa, we have helped provide nesting locations for ospreys, which have fewer than 10 nesting locations in the entire state.
We conduct careful environmental assessments at all prospective wind sites to understand wildlife on the ground and in the air to ensure projects are constructed in locations where the wildlife impacts will be low. Other actions include:
  • Pre-construction and post-construction bird and bat monitoring at many of our wind sites.
  • A reporting system that requires our wind technicians to conduct a 360-degree walk-around of any turbine where they are doing work to check for birds and bats.
  • Working closely with state and local wildlife agencies on wildlife matters.
 


Environmental awards and recognitions

Business, industry and governmental organizations have acknowledged the environmental accomplishments of NextEra Energy, Inc., of which we are an integral part.