FPL announces plan to accelerate strengthening of Florida's electric grid during annual storm drill

  FPL announces plan to accelerate strengthening of Florida's electric grid
                          during annual storm drill

PR Newswire

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla., May 2, 2013

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla., May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its annual
companywide hurricane season preparedness drill, Florida Power & Light Company
today announced a three-year plan to continue and accelerate the strengthening
of its electric system against high winds associated with hurricanes and other
major weather events.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120301/FL62738LOGO)

FPL expects to invest approximately half a billion dollars over the next three
years to continue to improve the overall resiliency of the electric system for
customers. The plan builds on the company's industry-leading storm hardening
initiative by incorporating additional lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy,
such as those related to flooding, as well as from Florida storm activity in
2012. These recent experiences show that electric infrastructure that has been
strengthened performs better in preventing some storm-related outages,
speeding restoration times following severe weather and delivering better
overall everyday reliability.

"If Florida were a country, its economy would be the 21st largest in the
world, and business operations and residents' lives are increasingly reliant
on computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices that depend on
electricity," said FPL President Eric Silagy. "When severe weather strikes, it
causes damage and produces power outages, so preparation is crucial. While no
electric system can be fully stormproof, and we have been working to
strengthen the grid and improve its resiliency for some time, the acceleration
of this effort will help us get businesses up and running and residents' lives
back to normal more quickly after storms."

The accelerated hardening effort being announced today builds upon the
approved program FPL has been executing since 2007. From 2007 through 2012,
FPL invested a total of nearly $460 million to strengthen the
electricity-delivery backbone and harden infrastructure serving facilities
that are critical to communities such as hospitals, police and fire stations,
911 facilities, water-treatment plants, grocery stores, gas stations and
pharmacies.

These investments translate both into faster restoration during major storms
and improved everyday reliability for customers. FPL's experience with the
recent tropical storms shows main power lines that have been hardened are
roughly half as likely to experience an outage during severe weather. In
addition, under normal weather conditions, hardening a power line reduces the
frequency of daily outages by up to 40 percent.

"FPL delivers strong reliability and the lowest typical residential customer
bills in the state because we are constantly benchmarking ourselves against
other electricity providers in order to learn from their best practices. We
actively incorporate what we learn into our business in order to improve our
customers' service and experience. The accelerated hardening effort we're
announcing today is a great example of that," said Silagy. "Importantly, the
stable, four-year environment provided by last year's base rate agreement
allows us to make significant investments, such as accelerated hardening,
which will benefit our customers for generations to come."

2013-2015 Electric Infrastructure Storm Hardening Plan
Under FPL's 2013-2015 Electric Infrastructure Storm Hardening Plan, filed with
the Florida Public Service Commission yesterday (May 1), the company expects
to invest in the range of $428 million to $646 million over the next three
years to continue to improve the overall resiliency of the electric system for
customers. Because FPL is operating under a four-year rate agreement, this
plan does not impact customer rates during the three-year period of the
investments.

Specifically, FPL's 2013-2015 plan includes investments to:

  oPrioritize hardening for critical facilities and other essential community
    needs: Since 2007, FPL has been strengthening infrastructure serving
    hundreds of critical facilities and other essential community needs such
    as hospitals, police and fire stations, and grocery stores. FPL plans to
    continue this effort by strengthening poles and equipment serving
    approximately 250 to 370 critical facilities and community needs in 2013
    through 2015 – with the goal of completing all critical and community-need
    hardening throughout its territory in 2016, several years earlier than
    FPL's 2010-2012 plan.
  oAccelerate the deployment of wind-resilient transmission structures and
    equipment: Between 2007 and 2012, to strengthen the electricity-delivery
    backbone, FPL replaced more than 4,000 wood transmission structures with
    stronger concrete structures and upgraded more than 3,600 ceramic post
    insulators with more resilient polymer material. Beginning in 2013, FPL is
    accelerating this ongoing program with plans to replace an estimated 1,100
    to 1,600 structures per year through 2015 and complete replacement of all
    ceramic posts on concrete structures by the end of 2014.
  oStrengthen key equipment located in areas most vulnerable to storm surge:
    As part of initiatives arising from lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy,
    FPL plans to install real-time, water-level monitoring systems to help
    anticipate challenges that could result from flooding at 25 substations
    located below the Federal Emergency Management Agency's 100-year flood
    elevations.

"Reliable electricity is the lifeblood of Florida's economy. By continuing and
accelerating our effort to strengthen the grid's backbone and infrastructure
serving critical community needs, we're making our system stronger for the
benefit of all of our customers," said Silagy. "While we haven't been hit by a
hurricane in several years, the investments we're making now will help us
restore power to customers and get the economy moving again more quickly when
the next severe storm strikes."

Annual Company-Wide Hurricane Simulation
Today's announcement comes as part of the company's annual week-long storm
drill, one element of the year-round preparations that thousands of FPL
employees participate in to prepare for major storms. This week marks the
culmination of employee preparations, with a company-wide simulated response
to Hurricane Sheryl, a virtual Category 3 storm, making landfall in Southwest
Florida, crossing the state and exiting over the Treasure Coast region.

Throughout the week, employees across FPL's 35-county service territory have
been practicing various scenarios designed to hone their readiness,
restoration and response capabilities as part of their final preparations
prior to the official start of hurricane season.

Using advanced computer modeling to make the simulation as real as possible,
the company projects the types and extent of infrastructure damage and
customer outages that such a storm would be expected to cause based on real
data from prior storms.

One component of FPL's pre-storm season preparation plan involves the complex
coordination of mutual assistance agreements with other utilities. When
extreme weather – such as hurricanes, ice storms or major flooding – strikes
an area, utilities must work together to restore power for residents and
businesses. This often includes bringing in thousands of crews and trucks from
out-of-state utilities to help. As a result of what utilities faced following
Superstorm Sandy, FPL's drill this year includes an added emphasis on
practicing how the company manages out-of-state crews to supplement efforts to
restore FPL customers.

For more information about FPL's storm preparedness plans and tips on how
residents and businesses can get themselves prepared before storm season
begins June 1, please visit www.FPL.com/storm.

Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest rate-regulated electric utility
in Florida and serves the third-largest number of customers of any electric
utility in the United States. FPL serves approximately 4.6 million customer
accounts and is a leading Florida employer with approximately 10,000 employees
as of year-end 2012. During the five-year period ended December 31, 2012, the
company delivered the best service reliability among Florida investor-owned
utilities. As of year-end 2012, its typical residential customer bills are the
lowest in Florida, and based on data available in July 2012, are about 26
percent below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the
lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs
among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based
NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.FPL.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.
Forward-looking statements in this press release include, among others,
statements concerning adjusted earnings per share expectations and future
operating performance. In some cases, you can identify the forward-looking
statements by words or phrases such as "will," "will 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
over-the-counter (OTC) financial derivatives and to apply such regulation to
NextEra Energy and FPL; capital expenditures, increased operating costs and
various liabilities attributable to environmental laws, regulations and other
standards 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 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, 2012 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.



SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company

Website: http://www.fpl.com
Contact: Florida Power & Light Co. Media Line: 305-552-3888
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.