Florida Power & Light is the largest division of NextEra Energy, once known as FPL Group, Inc. The company is most commonly known only as FPL. It is headquartered in Juno, Florida and has over 4.4 million customers in South Florida. FPL was first established in 1925 after a multi-company merger of small South Florida electric providers. The growth of the company has followed the general population growth of the area since that time.
In 1989, Florida Power & Light became the first non-Japanese company to win the Deming Prize for quality improvement. In 2005, FPL Group acquired Gexa Energy out of Houson, Texas, and later that year, attempted to purchase Constellation Energy. The Constellation Energy deal eventually fell through in 2006.
FPL has not been without its problems. A proposal to construct a new coal-fueled power plant on Lake Okeechobee was blocked in 2007. The following year, protests disrupted the construction of a diesel-fueled power plant being constructed near the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Another protest was staged in 2009 at a cypress forest near the Martin County Power Plant owned by FPL. Earlier that year, FPL Group changed their corporate name to NextEra Energy Resources as a move to highlight their efforts in providing renewable energy.
Florida Power & Light owns and operates a total of 16 power plants in Florida. Electricity is carried via 73,000 miles of lines to 4.5 million customers. Twelve of FPL’s 16 power plants were constructed after 1980. FPL customers enjoy the lowest electricity rates in Florida. FPL’s installation of emissions control technology prevented 4.9 million tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere in 2009.
Florida Power & Light owns and operates the largest fossil fuel power plant in the United States. The Martin County Power Plant is fueled by a combination of fuel oil and natural gas, generating a total of 3,705 megawatts of electricity. FPL has already begun construction of a new power plant in Northern Palm Beach County that will eclipse the Martin County Plant at 3,800 megawatts of electricity. FPL also currently owns and operates two nuclear power plants: the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant and the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant. The company has proposed adding two more reactors to the Turkey Point Plant in the near future.
FPL is committed to expanding its solar electricity production. The company currently operates the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, which has an output of 25 megawatts. The Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center is under construction and will have a peak capacity of 75 megawatts.
Asbestos is a mineral that saw widespread use as an insulator in many mills, factories and power plants built before the 1980s. Asbestos was used as an insulator in ceiling tiles, floors and boilers and was used to line pipes and wires because of its heat-resistance properties. Unfortunately, the mineral turned out to have a hazardous effect. Hordes of workers contracted serious illnesses as a result of exposure to asbestos.
When asbestos becomes airborne, humans in the vicinity inhale the fibers. These tiny particles cause lung damage and spark serious disorders such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is the worst of these asbestos-related conditions. With a latency period of 20 to 50 years, mesothelioma is a cancer that impacts the lungs and the lining of the stomach. The victims of this disease do not usually survive more than 2-3 years beyond their diagnosis. A clear connection has been shown between the inhalation of asbestos fibers and ailments such as lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.