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FPL considers home-state wind power in Florida

FPL Energy, having so far ignored its home state of Florida as a potential market for wind power, seems to be changing its mind. Sister company Florida Power & Light, a regulated power retailer, intends to explore development of a small commercial scale wind project in the coastal community of St Lucie County. FPL's Sharon Bennett says the company has considered putting up at least one turbine -- possibly a 2.5 MW unit -- but that particularly careful attention is being paid to finding the right turbine to efficiently handle the area's relatively low wind speeds, salt, sand, and occasional hurricane force winds. Bennett says FPLE's approach to wind is different to the large-scale and commercial involvement in wind of its big brother. But FPLE's customers want to see the utility taking steps, even small ones, towards using more renewable energy, she says. "I don't think you're ever going to see a day where there is wind power all along the coast of Florida, which is what it would take to get large-scale generation going. That's not something anybody envisions. But this is a first step to evaluate what can be done today with the technology that exists today. And technology every year, every few months, improves."

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