Saturday, May 23, 2009

FPL Group Chairman Tells Shareholders Clean-Energy Investments Positioning Company for Continued Growth

JUNO BEACH, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Clean-energy investments are positioning FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE:FPL) for continued growth in a low-carbon future, FPL Group Chairman and CEO Lew Hay told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting today.

Hay noted that companies with low carbon-dioxide emissions rates are poised to benefit if federal policymakers set a price on carbon in response to climate change.

“FPL Group has one of the lowest emissions rates in the sector. In fact, if every utility were as clean as FPL Group, CO2 emissions from the power sector would be reduced by nearly 50 percent and total U.S. carbon emissions would be reduced by 20 percent. That’s the equivalent of removing 209 million cars from the road, or roughly 80 percent of all vehicles in the nation,” Hay said.

FPL’s business strategy leading to strong results

Despite a challenging economy, FPL Group performed exceptionally well in 2008, delivering record adjusted earnings. A highlight of the year was the strong performance at NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, one of FPL Group’s principal subsidiaries and the largest generator in North America of renewable energy from the wind and sun.

“The true test of companies is not how well they perform in a booming economy. It is how well they perform in the face of a challenge,” Hay said. He pointed to FPL Group’s strong performance in the toughest economy in decades as “a powerful endorsement of our strategy, our commitment to financial discipline, and our dedicated and talented employees.”

FPL Group’s success in 2008 contributed to the company’s strong performance relative to its peers over the past seven years, as measured by both total shareholder return and growth in market capitalization.

“Consider this one simple fact: A dollar invested in the S&P 500 at the end of 2001 was worth 90 cents at the end of 2008. A dollar invested in FPL Group had more than doubled to $2.17,” Hay said.

Likewise, in terms of market capitalization, the companies in the S&P 500 and the S&P 500 utilities index were collectively smaller at the end of 2008 than they were at the end of 2001. FPL Group was twice as big.

In 2008, NextEra Energy Resources led the United States in total wind megawatts added for the seventh time in the last eight years. In addition, the company also acquired its first wind project in Canada and took the initial steps to build a new 250-megawatt solar thermal plant in California. Just after the turn of the year, NextEra Energy Resources was awarded a significant transmission project by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, where transmission constraints have impeded the flow of electricity from the company’s wind farms to population centers.

At Florida Power & Light Company, a difficult economy negatively impacted sales and revenue but progress on the company’s clean-energy projects continued. In 2008, FPL broke ground on the first of three solar generation projects, which would make the state second in the nation in solar energy production. FPL also won approval to modernize its Riviera and Cape Canaveral power plants and moved forward with upgrades to boost the capacity of its nuclear units.

FPL Group’s 2008 performance was recognized in March when the company was rated No. 1 in the electric power sector on Fortune magazine’s survey of the “World’s Most Admired Companies.” FPL Group was also No. 1 in 2007 and 2006.

Hay noted the dramatic growth experienced by FPL Group since 2002. “By almost any measure – capacity, assets, earnings or market cap – we are a significantly larger, stronger and more competitive company today than we were just a few years ago,” he said.

Looking ahead, Hay expressed confidence in FPL Group’s growth prospects, citing Florida’s long-term demographic trends, a bullish outlook for renewable generation, and national policy trends shaping the industry. “Whether it’s the stimulus bill’s support for renewable energy, cap-and-trade legislation setting a price on carbon dioxide, or a new federal standard for renewable electricity, we believe FPL Group is remarkably well positioned for the clean energy economy of the future,” he said.

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