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FPL Group Invests $1.5 Billion in Solar Thermal

FPL Group Incorporated, a generator of renewable electric power, yesterday announced a $2.4 billion investment program aimed at increasing U.S. solar thermal energy output and reducing carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.

The majority of the investment ($1.5 billion) will go in new solar thermal generating facilities in Florida and California over the next seven years, starting with a project at FPL.  FPL is planning to build 300 megawatts (MW) of solar generating capacity in Florida using Ausra, Inc.’s solar thermal technology.

In a second initiative, FPL said it plans to invest up to $500 million to install a smart network utilizing state-of-the-art technology in the 35 Florida counties it serves. This new program will allow customers to view their energy consumption online every day.

In a third initiative, FPL Energy plans to launch a nationwide renewable energy program early next year that will allow residential and business consumers to purchase products associated with Renewable Energy Credits (REC) generated by FPL Energy’s renewable energy facilities.

“These new investments, coupled with our recent announcement to invest an estimated $20 billion in new wind generation, demonstrate FPL Group’s continued commitment to improve the environment,” said Lew Hay, chairman and CEO of FPL Group.

In July, FPL Energy unveiled a $20 billion plan to triple its nearly 4,500-MW wind generating capacity. The company expects to add between 8,000 and 10,000 MW of wind energy by the end of 2012.

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