FPL's Cape Canaveral natural gas power plant comes online

Florida Power & Light Co.'s Cape Canaveral Next Generation Clean Energy Center has begun generating electricity from natural gas.

FPL invested about $900 million to build the facility, which was constructed on the site of a 1960s-era power plant that the company took down in 2010. Construction was completed more than a month ahead of schedule and about $140 million under budget.

The power plant is capable of producing more than 1,200 MW of electricity or enough to power about 250,000 homes and businesses — roughly double the amount generated by the previous plant — without using any additional water or land.

FPL's investments in combined-cycle, natural gas power plants since 2001 have cut the company's fuel costs by more than $6 billion through 2012, and 100 percent of those savings have been passed on to customers. By using natural gas to generate electricity, FPL has reduced its use of foreign oil by 98 percent — from more than 40 million barrels of oil in 2001 to now less than 1 million barrels annually.

In addition to saving on fuel costs, the latest technology further improves FPL's emissions profile — already among the cleanest in the U.S. Compared to the former Cape Canaveral plant, the new facility generates power with half the rate of carbon dioxide emissions and more than 90 percent fewer air emissions.

Florida Power & Light Co. serves about 4.6 million customer accounts and employs about 10,000 employees as of year-end 2012.

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