Limon, CO. – Ranchers, federal, state and local officials, along with energy industry leaders, gathered today for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for NextEra Energy Resources’ Limon I and II Wind Energy Centers.
NextEra Energy Resources, the nation’s largest generator of wind power, hosted the event and was joined by Xcel Energy and about 150 guests.
The 400-megawatt (MW) facility, located about 90 miles southeast of Denver, is comprised of twin 200-MW projects that are spread across more than 55,000 acres in Arapahoe, Elbert and Lincoln counties. The projects are owned and will be operated by affiliates of NextEra Energy Resources. All of the power from both projects is being sold to Xcel Energy under long-term contracts.
“Wind energy harnessed in Colorado and across the country has to be part of any true ‘all of the above’ strategy that moves us closer to energy independence,” said U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner. “That is why we should extend the production tax credit to promote wind energy that leads to private sector investment like this one, new manufacturing jobs and a clean source of domestic energy. I’m proud to be part of the effort to continue Colorado’s rapid expansion into energy production and clean energy technology.”
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said, “Wind continues to deliver cost-competitive energy. The Limon wind projects will provide clean, affordable energy to the Front Range while helping to build strong, vibrant rural communities. From providing power to food, the Eastern Plains are helping to grow a stronger Colorado economy.”
Each Limon project consists of 125 GE 1.6-MW wind turbines. In addition to the wind farms, an approximately 45-mile-long, 345-kilovolt transmission line was built to interconnect the wind farms to the Missile Site substation in Arapahoe County.
“These projects will bring the amount of wind on our Colorado system to 2,200 megawatts. They offer some of the lowest-priced wind energy we’ve seen. And they demonstrate that renewable energy can compete on an economic basis with more traditional forms of generation fuel,” said David Eves, president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. “They also help us meet the state’s Renewable Energy Standard at a very reasonable cost to our customers.”
The Limon I and II projects are NextEra Energy Resources’ fourth and fifth wind projects in Colorado, bringing its combined installed capacity to approximately 975 MW, or enough power for more than 450,000 average homes. Xcel Energy, through its subsidiary, Public Service Company of Colorado, purchases all of the output from NextEra Energy Resources’ wind facilities in Colorado.
“Xcel Energy is a valued customer, and we appreciate their commitment to wind energy,” said Armando Pimentel, president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources. “In addition to generating clean, emission-free energy, these two projects will have a positive impact on the local economy for years to come. With continued public policy support for wind energy generation, we look forward to bringing the economic and environmental benefits of wind energy to other communities across the state and nation.”
At the peak of construction, the two projects directly employed more than 300 workers. During the initial 25 years of operation, NextEra Energy Resources estimates the two projects will generate approximately $130 million in the form of state and local tax payments and landowner royalties.
The Limon I and II Wind Energy Centers are part of the approximately 1,500 MW of U.S. wind projects that NextEra Energy Resources expects to bring into service by the end of 2012. This will be the biggest wind program ever completed in this country in a single year and will push NextEra Energy Resources’ total wind portfolio over the 10,000 MW mark.
About NextEra Energy Resources
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (together with affiliated entities, "NextEra Energy Resources"), is a clean energy leader and is one of the largest competitive energy suppliers in North America, operating in 22 states and Canada as of year-end 2011. NextEra Energy Resources is the largest generator in the United States of renewable energy from the wind and sun, owning and operating approximately 8,569 megawatts of wind and 158 megawatts of solar power generation at the end of 2011. The business operates clean, emissions-free nuclear power generation facilities in New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin as part of the NextEra Energy nuclear fleet, which has the third largest number of commercial nuclear power units in the United States. NextEra Energy Resources is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.4 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com.
Cautionary Statements and Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts, but instead represent the current expectations of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NextEra Energy) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) regarding future operating results and other future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of NextEra Energy's and FPL's control. In some cases, you can identify the forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as “will,” “will likely result,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “plan,” “seek,” “aim,” “potential,” “projection,” “forecast,” “predict,” “goals,” “target,” “outlook,” “should,” “would” or similar words or expressions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future performance. The future results of NextEra Energy and FPL are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause their actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: effects of extensive regulation of NextEra Energy's and FPL's business operations; inability of NextEra Energy and FPL to recover in a timely manner any significant amount of costs, a return on certain assets or an appropriate return on capital through base rates, cost recovery clauses, other regulatory mechanisms or otherwise; impact of political, regulatory and economic factors on regulatory decisions important to NextEra Energy and FPL; risks of disallowance of cost recovery by FPL based on a finding of imprudent use of derivative instruments; effect of any reductions to or elimination of governmental incentives that support renewable energy projects of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and its affiliated entities (NextEra Energy Resources); impact of new or revised laws, regulations or interpretations or other regulatory initiatives on NextEra Energy and FPL; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of potential regulatory action to broaden the scope of regulation of OTC financial derivatives and to apply such regulation to NextEra Energy and FPL; capital expenditures, increased cost of operations and exposure to liabilities attributable to environmental laws and regulations applicable to NextEra Energy and FPL; effects on NextEra Energy and FPL of federal or state laws or regulations mandating new or additional limits on the production of greenhouse gas emissions; exposure of NextEra Energy and FPL to significant and increasing compliance costs and substantial monetary penalties and other sanctions as a result of extensive federal regulation of their operations; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of changes in tax laws and in judgments and estimates used to determine tax-related asset and liability amounts; impact on NextEra Energy and FPL of adverse results of litigation; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of failure to proceed with projects under development or inability to complete the construction of (or capital improvements to) electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities or other facilities on schedule or within budget; impact on development and operating activities of NextEra Energy and FPL resulting from risks related to project siting, financing, construction, permitting, governmental approvals and the negotiation of project development agreements; risks involved in the operation and maintenance of electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities and other facilities; effect on NextEra Energy and FPL of a lack of growth or slower growth in the number of customers or in customer usage; impact on NextEra Energy and FPL of severe weather and other weather conditions; risks associated with threats of terrorism and catastrophic events that could result from terrorism, cyber attacks or other attempts to disrupt NextEra Energy's and FPL's business or the businesses of third parties; risk of lack of availability of adequate insurance coverage for protection of NextEra Energy and FPL against significant losses; risk to NextEra Energy Resources of increased operating costs resulting from unfavorable supply costs necessary to provide NextEra Energy Resources' full energy and capacity requirement services; inability or failure by NextEra Energy Resources to hedge effectively its assets or positions against changes in commodity prices, volumes, interest rates, counterparty credit risk or other risk measures; potential volatility of NextEra Energy's results of operations caused by sales of power on the spot market or on a short-term contractual basis; effect of reductions in the liquidity of energy markets on NextEra Energy's ability to manage operational risks; effectiveness of NextEra Energy's and FPL's hedging and trading procedures and associated risk management tools to protect against significant losses; impact of unavailability or disruption of power transmission or commodity transportation facilities on sale and delivery of power or natural gas by FPL and NextEra Energy Resources; exposure of NextEra Energy and FPL to credit and performance risk from customers, hedging counterparties and vendors; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL of failure of counterparties to perform under derivative contracts or of requirement for NextEra Energy and FPL to post margin cash collateral under derivative contracts; failure or breach of NextEra Energy's and FPL's information technology systems; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL's retail businesses of compromise of sensitive customer data; risks to NextEra Energy and FPL of volatility in the market values of derivative instruments and limited liquidity in OTC markets; impact of negative publicity; inability of NextEra Energy and FPL to maintain, negotiate or renegotiate acceptable franchise agreements with municipalities and counties in Florida; increasing costs of health care plans; lack of a qualified workforce or the loss or retirement of key employees; occurrence of work strikes or stoppages and increasing personnel costs; NextEra Energy's ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate acquisitions; environmental, health and financial risks associated with NextEra Energy's and FPL's ownership of nuclear generation facilities; liability of NextEra Energy and FPL for significant retrospective assessments and/or retrospective insurance premiums in the event of an incident at certain nuclear generation facilities; increased operating and capital expenditures at nuclear generation facilities of NextEra Energy or FPL resulting from orders or new regulations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; inability to operate any of NextEra Energy Resources' or FPL's owned nuclear generation units through the end of their respective operating licenses; liability of NextEra Energy and FPL for increased nuclear licensing or compliance costs resulting from hazards posed to their owned nuclear generation facilities; risks associated with outages of NextEra Energy's and FPL's owned nuclear units; effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets on NextEra Energy's and FPL's ability to fund their liquidity and capital needs and meet their growth objectives; inability of NextEra Energy, FPL and NextEra Energy Capital Holdings, Inc. to maintain their current credit ratings; risk of impairment of NextEra Energy's and FPL's liquidity from inability of creditors to fund their credit commitments or to maintain their current credit ratings; poor market performance and other economic factors that could affect NextEra Energy's and FPL's defined benefit pension plan's funded status; poor market performance and other risks to the asset values of NextEra Energy's and FPL's nuclear decommissioning funds; changes in market value and other risks to certain of NextEra Energy's investments; effect of inability of NextEra Energy subsidiaries to upstream dividends or repay funds to NextEra Energy or of NextEra Energy's performance under guarantees of subsidiary obligations on NextEra Energy's ability to meet its financial obligations and to pay dividends on its common stock; and effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets of the market price of NextEra Energy's common stock. NextEra Energy and FPL discuss these and other risks and uncertainties in their annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and other SEC filings, and this press release should be read in conjunction with such SEC filings made through the date of this press release. The forward-looking statements made in this press release are made only as of the date of this press release and NextEra Energy and FPL undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.