Written by Jennifer Kho
FPL Group (FPL), which owns utility Florida Power and Light Co., said Monday it would build less wind-power capacity than previously expected as part of a 25 percent cut in its planned 2009 capital expenditures.
Citing "the slowing economy," the company said it now plans to spend $5.3 billion on capital expenditures. Part of that budget will go toward adding 1.1 gigawatt of new wind-power generation, which is a drop from the 1.5 gigawatts previously expected.
FPL is still on track to install a total of 1.3 gigawatts of new wind capacity this year, Reuters reported.The announcement comes at a time of economic uncertainty, when companies are struggling to create forecasts and are wondering whether investment in greentech will dip. Gamesa, a Spanish wind-turbine manufacturer, last week said it had temporarily halted production and would wait for customers to confirm their purchase plans before providing sales or production guidance for next year. Meanwhile, Solaria went ahead and built its solar parks after its customers backed out and now hopes it will be able to find new buyers for the projects. And a number of executives, including BP (BP) wind and solar CEO Reyad Fezzani, have said that financing for renewable-energy projects has dried up -- although some hope that funding from utilities could help refresh the market. (Don't miss " BP Wind & Solar CEO: Project Money 'Completely Dried Up'") Tyler Tringas, a wind analyst at New Energy Finance, said clients have been calling to ask if this FPL news is the forerunner of a major decrease in wind.
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