FPL completes upgrade of nuclear power plants

Florida Power & Light Co. announced the successful completion of a five-year, multibillion-dollar investment to upgrade its Turkey Point and St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plants, adding more than 500 MW of new energy capacity.

Turkey Point Unit 4, the final unit to undergo an upgrade as part of the project, was connected to Florida's electrical grid April 17. The upgrades of Turkey Point Unit 3, located in Miami-Dade County, and St. Lucie Units 1 and 2, located in St. Lucie County, were completed in 2012.

The upgrades, known as "extended power uprates" are massive, highly-complex engineering projects. FPL surpassed the initial projection of 399 MW for the entire investment at the end of 2012, and the project is estimated to deliver nearly 30 percent more capacity than originally projected.

Since the early 1970s, two nuclear-generating units at FPL's Turkey Point plant in Miami-Dade County have been providing power for FPL customers. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, FPL added two more nuclear units in St. Lucie County on Florida's Treasure Coast.

In 2007, FPL received a need determination from the Florida Public Service Commission to implement extended power uprates at all four nuclear units. An extended power uprate is a proven, safe method of increasing the output of a nuclear power plant by replacing many components with equipment that enables greater production.

Florida Power & Light Co. is a rate-regulated electric utility in Florida and serves more than 4.6 million customer accounts. FPL is a unit of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE).

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