September 27, 07
Florida Power Investing $2.4 billion on Solar Thermal Energy

Electric power provider FPL Group said Wednesday it plans to invest US$2.4 billion in solar thermal energy programs over the next several years as part of the company's focus on renewable energy.

The plan includes a $1.5 billion investment in solar-thermal generating facilities in Florida and California over the next seven years, as well as $500 million for a network to distribute the energy and $400 million for consumer education and new products.
Combating Global Warming

FPL said in July it would add between 8,000 and 10,000 megawatts of wind power to its portfolio over the next five years. Its upcoming wind-power investments total about $20 billion, Lew Hay, FPL's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

"These new investments ... demonstrate FPL Group's continued commitment to improve the environment and reaffirm our leadership position among U.S. utilities to combat global warming," Hay said.
Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions

The solar thermal program will begin with its utility company Florida Power & Light, which will eventually get 300 megawatts of generating capacity.

FPL said the facility will reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by about 11 million tons over 20 years.

FPL will also install a "smart network" with meters that will enable customers in 35 Florida counties to view real-time energy consumption online.

The company said the technology will allow it to develop better energy management programs to reduce emissions as well.

Under its education program, consumers will be able to purchase renewable energy credits to offset their own emissions. Proceeds will be used to further FPL's renewable energy program.