In front of a sold-out crowd, Eric Silagy, President and CEO of Florida Power & Light Company, who also serves as Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, discussed FPL’s commitment to “Energizing Florida’s Economy” during an Aventura Marketing Council luncheon attended by hundreds of the best and brightest business and community leaders.
Bob Hollander of Brown & Brown Insurance, standing in for AMC Chair Cliff Schulman of Weiss, Serota, Helfman, welcomed guests gathered at FIU’s Kovens Conference Center on Aug. 11 and expressed appreciation to FPL leaders including Silagy and Aletha Player, external affairs manager, for hosting the enlightening, business building event.
“FPL is the largest regulated utility in Florida, serving the third largest number of customers of any electric utility in the nation, and is also the largest investor in the state by far,” Silagy explained. “FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy, Inc. - the publicly traded, Fortune 500 company also headquartered in Juno Beach – has nearly 14,000 employees with assets throughout 26 states, Canada and Spain. We generate more ‘renewable’ electricity from wind and solar than any other company in the U.S. and probably the world.
“Every year, FPL invests about $3-3.5 billion in power plants, transmission and distribution lines, smart-grid technology and improvements to poles and wires to better withstand storms and get the lights on quicker.”
Lighting the way for continued progress, Silagy said plans are being pursued to build two new nuclear reactors at FPL’s Turkey Point facility near Homestead.He also outlined FPL’s ongoing efforts throughout the state to protect the environment and reduce America’s reliance on foreign oil.
“We’re continuously trying to improve and upgrade - always looking at ways to increase the efficiency of our assets through the use of new technology. This has enabled us to expand the output of plants, while reducing emissions – and keep our customers’ bills the lowest in the state. While prices for goods and services have gone up in the last five years, your FPL electric bill has gone down by seven percent. Keeping bills 25 percent below the national average helps position Florida to be economically competitive when relocating or expanding companies are looking for new facilities with affordable, reliable electricity.”
Silagy explained the importance of supporting economic development to supplement and further the state’s efforts in business recruitment and retention. FPL’s Office of Economic Development partners with government, industry and the private sector to keep Florida even more competitive in economic development practices and grow business and jobs in the state.
To do that, FPL launched PoweringFlorida.com - an online resource dedicated to helping businesses start up, expand or relocate their operations in Florida. The initiative builds on FPL’s existing economic development efforts, which include special discounted electric rates to promote Florida to new and expanding businesses that create jobs for Floridians.
Summing up FPL’s powerhouse partnership strategies, Silagy emphasized, “Helping the entire state be successful is critically important for all of us. We need to focus on doing everything we can to support economic development endeavors to attract venture capital. To energize Florida’s economy, we all have to work together to truly make a difference and position Florida to be successful for future generations.”
By Bari Auerbach
For more information, visit fpl.com or nexteraenergy.com