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August 26, 2009

Seabrook Station changes its name

SEABROOK, N.H. — The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave its official approval last week: Seabrook's nuclear power plant will now be known as NextEra Energy Seabrook.

Known locally as Seabrook Station since the day it opened nearly 20 years ago, the power plant has changed names and owners more than once over the decades.

Most recently, after New Hampshire deregulated its utility industry, the plant was purchased by Florida Power and Light taking on the name FPL Energy Seabrook. But earlier this year, FPL Group renamed its subsidiary division that included energy-generating plants with renewable energy sources — including its nuclear power plants — as NextEra Energy Resources. The move was made "to better reflect its clean energy mission and market focus," according to a press release the company issued earlier this year.

NextEra Energy Resources generates in excess of 16,900 megawatts through facilities in 25 states and Canada. Along with its nuclear power generating plants, its facilities include more than 6,300 megawatts of wind generation in operation, and the company co-owns and operates seven solar plants in California's Mojave Desert, which collectively form the world's largest solar site.

Incorporated into NextEra Energy Resources is FPL Group's nuclear energy facilities. That portfolio includes an 88 percent ownership of the Seabrook Station in New Hampshire, a 70 percent interest in the Duane Arnold Energy Center in Iowa and 100 percent ownership of Point Beach Nuclear Plant in Wisconsin, making the nuclear assets of Florida Power & Light Company the third largest in the United States.

"Today, with growing concern about global climate change and the need for more domestic sources of energy, it is no longer 'business as usual' in our industry," NextEra Energy Resources President and CEO Mitch Davidson is quoted to have said in the company's press release. "Solutions of the past will not suffice to meet the energy and climate challenges we face today. Our new name — NextEra Energy Resources — reflects our focus on clean energy solutions and provides us with a strong brand platform to grow our business now and into the future."

"This is all corporate stuff, because they want to separate nuclear plants and renewable energy generating plants from its other facilities," said Seabrook fire Chief Jeff Brown. "I know they've changed the name, but it's always going to be just Seabrook Station in town."

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