Letters to the Editor

FPL working to supply reliable, clean energy

To meet growing energy needs, FPL has embarked on an ambitious program to modernize its fleet with more efficient natural gas power plants; we commissioned the world’s first natural gas/solar hybrid plant; we plan to triple the amount of solar energy serving our customers; and we initiated the licensing process for two new nuclear units at the existing Turkey Point site.

The new units at Turkey Point would enhance grid reliability in the southern part of the state, save customers more than $100 billion in fossil-fuel costs, create thousands of construction jobs and, over the life of the plant, prevent the equivalent amount of emissions from approximately 91 million cars. Yet, despite the many substantial benefits for residents of Miami-Dade County, several local mayors have misinformed the public about this project.

For instance, South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard says that backup generators at Turkey Point are susceptible to storm flooding because they are located 15 feet above sea level. In reality, the entire Turkey Point site sits 20 feet above sea level. Moreover, the generators he was describing are elevated even higher and protected behind a flood-wall system.

In 2013, FPL submitted an independently conducted study to our federal regulators demonstrating that these generators are capable of withstanding severe flooding associated with the most extreme natural events, including a storm surge, a tsunami and the maximum possible rainfall in the area, as well as projected sea-level rise.

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado suggested that the proposed new units at Turkey Point would “shrink the supply and quality of our freshwater” and that the new units do not account for sea-level rise or storm surge. He is mistaken on both counts.

The new units would be placed approximately 26 feet above sea level. In addition, the proposed units would help Miami-Dade County meet its reclaimed-water goals by taking 80 million to 90 million gallons of wastewater a day, cleaning it and using it for cooling. If these units aren’t built, the city and county will be required to spend taxpayer dollars to dispose of this wastewater.

Over the past five years, Stoddard, Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner and others have sought to play on the worst fears of their constituents. This is wrong.

Planning, building and maintaining an electric grid that reliably powers Miami’s growing economy requires FPL to look out over decades, not just the next election. For 90 years we have proudly served the Miami-Dade community and are steadfastly committed to creating options that allow us to continue to supply low-cost, reliable, clean energy to our customers for generations to come.

Pam Rauch, vice president, Development & External Affairs, Florida Power & Light Co., Jupiter