NextEra Developing Solar in Hawaii, Sells Gas-Fired Plants in Texas

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NextEra Energy Resources , a unit of the Juno Beach group that also owns Florida Power & Light , announced investments in solar facilities in Hawaii and the sale of natural gas-fuelled plants in Texas.

The company, the largest producer of sun and wind energy in North America , said it will take over a project to build, own and operate about 17 megawatts of solar facilities on three U.S. military installations on Oahu in Hawaii .

“The Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy have set aggressive goals for the use of renewable energy sources at their installations across the nation, and we’re pleased to be able to help them achieve their goals,” said Armando Pimentel , president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources in a statement.

Construction of the solar facilities on Oahu is set to begin in February and be completed by 2017. The Navy will buy the energy produced under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

Cost of the project was not disclosed. However, the original contractor last year estimated the value of the Navy’s power purchases at up to $500 million , according to news reports in Hawaii .

Meanwhile, NextEra Energy Resources said it sold two natural gas-fuelled plants in Texas to Luminant, an affiliate of Energy Future Holdings , for $1.59 billion , including working capital.

The sale of a 1,912-megawatt plant at Forney and a 1,076-megwatt plant at Lamar is expected to close next year, the companies announced.

NextEra Energy Resources is the competitive energy unit of NextEra Energy, the Juno Beach parent which also owns FPL, the regulated utility that operates without competition in its Florida service area.

NextEra Energy Resources has operations in 25 states and Canada . In the first three quarters of this year, it reported $927 million in net income on $4.3 billion in revenue, up from $375 million in profit on $3.3 billion in revenue for the same period last year.

The moves come as parent NextEra Energy continues to pursue its announced $4.3 billion purchase of regulated utility Hawaiian Electric .

Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission on Monday began hearings on that deal, which would be NextEra’s largest purchase to date. Critics cite FPL’s limited development of solar energy in Florida as reason for concern. They note that Hawaii aims to boost the share of electricity produced from renewables to 65 percent and to triple its solar output by 2030.

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