UPDATE 2-NextEra to add more than 1,200 MW of U.S. wind power

Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:41am EDT

* Wind portfolio to top 10,000 MW by end of 2012

* Energy resources unit to grow in 2013

* Florida power plant modernizations underway

By Scott DiSavino

Oct 24 (Reuters) - NextEra Energy Inc expects to complete more than 1,200 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity in the United States in the fourth quarter, the Florida power company said on Wednesday.

By the end of 2012, NextEra Chief Financial Officer Moray Dewhurst said on a third-quarter earnings conference call, the company's wind power portfolio will top 10,000 MW.

Dewhurst also earnings at the company's Energy Resources unit would rise 10 percent to 15 percent to a range of $740 million to $780 million in 2013.

In 2012, Dewhurst said, Energy Resources' financial performance was hampered by the continued impact of reduced power from the Seabrook nuclear plant in New Hampshire and disappointing mild market conditions in Texas, where the company has a lot of wind resources.

He said the energy portfolio was roughly 95 percent hedged in 2013 and 93 percent in 2014.

At its Florida Power and Light (FPL) unit, the company said it was continuing the construction of both the Cape Canaveral and Riviera Beach modernization projects in Florida, which were both on schedule and on budget.

NextEra expects the new 1,250-MW Cape Canaveral natural gas plant to enter service in mid-2013, the company said on its website. The old Cape Canaveral was a 792-MW oil/natural gas-fired plant built in the 1960s.

The company expects the new 1,250-MW Riviera Beach natural gas plant to enter service in 2014. The old Riviera Beach was a 565-MW oil/natural gas-fired plant that was also built in the 1960s.

FPL's third Florida modernization project is under development at the Port Everglades plant and should enter service in mid-2016, Dewhurst said.

The new 1,277-MW Port Everglades natural gas plant would cost about $1 billion, the company said on its website. There are four large oil/natural gas-fired units at Port Everglades built in the 1960s with a combined capacity of 1,205 MW.

And, Dewhurst said, FPL's upgrade of the four reactors at the St Lucie and Turkey Point nuclear power plants in Florida should be complete by the spring, adding more than 500 MW of additional generating capacity.

In the past, the company estimated the cost of the nuclear upgades at $2.95 billion to $3.15 billion.

Dewhurst also said the company planned to add roughly 900 MW of solar power through 2016.

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