NextEra Sustainability Report: Normalized CO2 Down 2%
In 2010, the company emitted 621 pounds of CO2 per MWh of energy produced. This fell to 609 pounds per MWh in 2011, 51 percent lower than the industry average for that year of 1,244 pounds per MWh, the report said.
The company’s generation fleet has grown by 260 percent since 1990, but it has reduced its SO2, NOx and CO2 emissions rate by 94 percent, 93 percent and 36 percent, respectively, during the same time span, the report says.
Some 96 percent of NextEra’s energy was generated from “clean sources” in 2011, the report says. Chief among those sources in 2011 was natural gas, which accounted for 99 million MWh, or 57.7 percent of the company’s total energy output. Nuclear power contributed 22.8 percent of the company’s 2011 energy output. In 2011, wind power accounted for 14.3 percent of the company’s total.
In 2011, the company was the number one wind energy producer in the US. NextEra operates 8,817 wind turbines in 17 US states and Canadian provinces. Combined, these turbines provide enough energy to power more than 2 million homes, the report says.
The capacity of NextEra’s wind turbines has grown from 8,298 MW in 2010 to 8,569 MW in 2011. In 2000 the company had just 594 MW of wind power.
In December, the company opened the 100.8 MW Minco II Wind Energy Center in Grady and Caddo counties, Okla.. The wind farm will help power Google’s data center near Pryor, Okla.
NextEra Energy is also the largest generator of utility-scale solar power in the United States. Solar power contributed 0.2 percent of the company’s energy generation in 2011.
The company co-owns and operates 310 MW of solar power at the Solar Electric Generating Systems sites in California’s Mojave Desert. NextEra’s rate-regulated utility in Florida, FPL, now has 110 MW of solar generation in operation. In Hatch, N.M., NextEra Energy Resources has commissioned the 5 MW Hatch Solar Center, which the company calls the largest CSP plant in North America. The array comprises 84 Amonix 60-kilowatt units, which use dual-axis tracking to maximize energy production.
In addition to building renewable generation, NextEra is also developing transmission to carry that power from the remote locations where it is generated to the population centers that use it. Lone Star Transmission, NextEra Energy’s regulated utility in Texas, has received approvals to construct, operate and maintain transmission facilities under the state’s Competitive Renewable Energy Zone program. Lone Star is now building a roughly 320-mile-long transmission line from west Texas to just south of Dallas to bring wind energy to major metropolitan areas. Plans are for the line to be operational in 2013, the report says.
NextEra Energy’s water withdrawal rate has steadily improved since it began tracking the metric in 2007, from 14,400 gallons per MWh in 2007 down 45 percent to 7,900 gallons in 2011. The rate for last year is also 20 percent lower than the 9,900 gallons per MWh in 2010.
This improvement is due to greater efficiency and proper maintenance of equipment at power generation sites that require water, as well as increased generation from renewables, the report says. Nearly 25 million MWh, or 14 percent of the more than 172 million MWh of electricity generated by NextEra Energy in 2011, came from wind or solar photovoltaic energy sources, neither of which require water withdrawals to operate.
The report does not include absolute figures for waste, but it does include examples of waste reduction projects at the company. In 2011, NextEra refurbished more than 148,000 pieces of hardware and 1,050 street light covers. It decommissioned and recycled more than 16,300 units of oil-filled equipment and 665 gallons of mineral oil. The company also recovered and recycled nearly 2.5 million pounds of scrap wire and 3.5 million pounds of scrap metal and donated about 7,000 yards of wood to local recyclers.
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