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NextEra Seizes on Cleaner Energy to Reach Record-Low Emissions

<p>Air emissions have been on the decline for the electric power company since 1990, a time period during which its generation fleet has grown 249 percent.</p>

NextEra Energy Inc. outperformed the electric power sector in terms of air emissions and efficiency last year, largely due to a shift to cleaner energy sources, the electric power company said last week,.

The results were record-low air emissions in 2010, NextEra announced Friday. This follows a historical trend; air emissions have been on the decline since 1990, a time period during which its generation fleet has grown 249 percent.

At the same time, its carbon dioxide emissions have declined 34 percent, while its sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions -- a chief driver behind acid rain -- dropped by 90 percent. Smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) fell by 91 percent.

About 53.5 percent of NextEra's electricity generation in 2010 came from natural gas, followed by 19.5 percent wind, 12.9 percent nuclear, 10.7 percent oil, 2.1 percent coal, 0.8 percent hydro and 0.4 percent solar.

Here's how NextEra stacked up against its industry peers, according to the company.

NextEra                                            Industry
0.42 pounds SO2 per MWh             2.87 pounds SO2 per MWh
0.30 pounds NOx per MWh             1.30 pounds NOx per MWh
621 pounds CO2 per MWh              1,289 pounds CO2 per MWh

The company said it is also more efficient than its industry peers, using 7,991 British thermal units (BTUs) to produce a single kilowatt hour of electricity, compared to the industry average of 10,060 BTUs.

NextEra is the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources and Florida Power & Light Company. It was revealed last week that NextEra Energy Resources, which it says is the nation's largest wind energy developer in the U.S., would sell Google 100.8 megawatts of wind energy from an Oklahoma wind farm that will be operational later this year.

NextEra's headquarters also earned LEED-Gold certification for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance last week.

Image courtesy of NextEra Energy.

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