JUNO BEACH, Fla. -- FPL Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of FPL Group (NYSE: FPL) said today that it’s wind farms continue to help meet the growing need for pollution-free electricity in Texas while providing new economic opportunities for local communities and the state.
FPL Energy, through its subsidiaries, has invested more than a billion dollars in Texas and currently has eight wind farms in operation in the state. With a net capacity of nearly 1,000 megawatts the plants are capable of generating electricity for close to 300,000 Texas homes. In 2005, the wind farms offset generation emissions totaling nearly 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide; almost 3,400 tons of sulfur dioxide and more than 1,800 tons of nitrogen oxide that would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere if not for the wind farms.
“FPL Energy leads the way in Texas with the development and operation of clean, renewable wind energy,” said Eric Silagy, vice president of business management for FPL Energy. “Wind is a clean, renewable source of energy that emits no pollutants into the air or water, has a minimal impact on the land and contributes to the economic well-being of local and other communities throughout the state. Wind power can and should play a larger role in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and helping the environment. To produce the same amount of electricity, you would have to burn over 5.6 million barrels of oil every year. By using the wind, we’re able to reduce carbon dioxide levels by an amount equal to removing over 250,000 cars from Texas roads.”
Although a wind farm may be built across many acres, the wind towers and gravel access roads use very little acreage, leaving the land surrounding the wind towers available for other uses by the landowners. Texas’s wind farms are built on crop and grazing land and mesas used for hunting. All of those activities continue on the land leased to FPL Energy’s companies by Texas landowners.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the eight wind farms have had a significant economic impact in the state. In 2005, these eight wind projects provided a cumulative direct economic impact to Texas of more than $23 million in the form of state and local taxes, salaries, lease payments and locally purchased goods and services.
Nationwide, FPL Energy's fleet of wind turbines generated nearly 7.3 million megawatt hours of electricity in 2005. Together the 44 wind projects offset approximately 4.9 million tons of carbon dioxide, more than 13,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and nearly 9,000 tons of nitrogen oxides and had a cumulative direct economic impact of more than $80 million.