One of the world’s biggest renewable energy developers, NextEra Energy unveiled a comprehensive clean energy plan on Tuesday aimed at decarbonizing itself and making most of its operations carbon-free by no later than 2045. The plan, called the Zero Carbon Blueprint, seeks to generate only carbon-emissions-free energy from a diverse mix of wind, solar, battery storage, nuclear, green hydrogen and other renewable sources.
Additionally, NextEra Energy plans to broaden the scope of the project to help lead the decarbonization of the U.S. economy, a more than $4 trillion market opportunity, by significantly increasing low-cost renewable energy deployment.
“Our Real Zero goal to eliminate carbon emissions from our operations is a real goal that would make a significant difference for our customers,” said John Ketchum, president and chief executive officer, NextEra Energy.
“We are building on our decades of innovation and investments in low-cost renewable energy to decarbonize our company while keeping bills affordable for our customers. Attaining Real Zero will be one of those achievements that provides lasting value to our customers and the communities where we do business. We’ve been working on this for a long time and will take our extensive experience, industry-leading development platform and scale to help accelerate the decarbonization of the U.S. economy.”
With such a monumental task, NextEra Energy noted that reaching the goal would require significant investment by the company. In order to achieve its goals, the company plans to tackle it in three phases, starting at a micro level and slowly transitioning to include much of the U.S. economy.
A significant portion of NextEra Energy’s plan to eliminate carbon emissions will be geared in-house, taking place at FPL, which serves over 12 million Floridians.
As part of Real Zero, FPL’s goal is to significantly accelerate the transformation of its generation mix, reaching 36% decarbonized by 2025, 52% by 2030, 62% by 2035 and 83% by 2040, culminating in 100% decarbonization by 2045.
FPL says they plan to reach these interim targets through further modernization of its generation fleet in Florida, which will include expanding its solar capacity to more than 90,000 MW, bolstering FPL’s grid by adding more than 50,000 MW of battery storage, converting 16,000 MW of existing natural gas units to run on green hydrogen, and harnessing clean, efficient nuclear power,
The Juno Beach-based power utility also intends to achieve Real Zero across its operations at zero incremental cost for its customers, thus keeping monthly bills among the lowest in the country.
“FPL’s Real Zero goal represents a continuation of what we’ve long done for our customers — making disciplined and proven long-term investments in low-cost, clean and reliable technology, while keeping customer bills affordable and well below the national average,” said Eric Silagy, chairman and chief executive officer, FPL.
“This isn’t a plan to plant trees or purchase offsets, but rather would be a complete elimination of our incremental carbon emissions in Florida to the benefit of our customers, a clean environment and the state’s growing economy. Successful implementation of our plan would be a literal game changer for our customers, for Florida and for any other utilities who want to walk with us as we work toward achieving Real Zero.”
NextEra Energy added that plans for Real Zero and the Zero Carbon Blueprint will be presented at the company’s 2022 Investor Conference.