NextEra Energy, Inc. reported first-quarter 2017 net income attributable to NextEra Energy on a GAAP basis of $1,583 million, or $3.37 per share, compared to $653 million, or $1.41 per share, in the first quarter of 2016. On an adjusted basis, NextEra Energy's first-quarter 2017 earnings were $820 million, or $1.75 per share, compared to $732 million, or $1.59 per share, in the first quarter of 2016.
Adjusted earnings for these periods exclude the mark-to-market effects of non-qualifying hedges, the net effect of other than temporary impairments (OTTI) on certain investments, operating results from the Spain solar project and merger-related expenses. Adjusted earnings also exclude the 2017 gain on the sale of the fiber-optic telecommunications business and the 2016 impact of the resolution of contingencies related to a previous asset sale.
NextEra Energy's management uses adjusted earnings, which is a non-GAAP financial measure, internally for financial planning, analysis of performance, reporting of results to the board of directors and as an input in determining performance-based compensation under the company's employee incentive compensation plans. NextEra Energy also uses earnings expressed in this fashion when communicating its financial results and earnings outlook to analysts and investors. NextEra Energy's management believes that adjusted earnings provide a more meaningful representation of NextEra Energy's fundamental earnings power. A reconciliation of historical adjusted earnings to net income attributable to NextEra Energy, which is the most directly comparable GAAP measure, is included in the attachments to this news release.
"NextEra Energy delivered solid first-quarter results, representing a strong start toward achieving our overall objectives for 2017," said Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy. "NextEra Energy's first-quarter adjusted earnings per share increased approximately 10.1 percent from the prior-year comparable period, primarily reflecting contributions from continued investments at both FPL and NextEra Energy Resources. At FPL, we continued to advance our strategy of making smart, long-term investments in clean energy infrastructure, while keeping electric bills low, reliability high and delivering superior customer value. Consistent with this strategy, we announced plans to add nearly 2,100 megawatts of universal solar generation across Florida over the next several years and construct a modernized highly fuel-efficient natural gas plant near Fort Lauderdale on the site of one of our oldest power plants to help meet the future power needs of the region. The first quarter represented an excellent period of project origination for the NextEra Energy Resources team. We remain as enthusiastic as ever about the fundamentals for North American renewables growth, driven by the continued execution of our development organization. Given our outstanding opportunity set, we believe our organic growth prospects are second to none in the industry."
Florida Power & Light Company
NextEra Energy's principal rate-regulated electric utility subsidiary, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), reported first-quarter 2017 net income of $445 million, or $0.95 per share, compared to $393 million, or $0.85 per share, for the prior-year quarter.
FPL's contribution to adjusted earnings per-share growth over the prior-year comparable quarter was primarily driven by continued investment in the business to further advance its long-term focus on delivering outstanding customer value, best-in-class reliability and typical residential customer bills that are significantly lower than the national and Florida averages. During the first quarter, FPL's average number of customers increased by approximately 65,000, or 1.3 percent, from the prior-year comparable quarter.
FPL continued to make progress on its major capital projects, including the construction of the approximately 1,750-megawatt (MW) Okeechobee Clean Energy Center, which remains on budget and on schedule to achieve commercial operation in mid-2019. As a result of its ongoing investments to enhance service reliability, FPL delivered its best-ever service reliability in 2016, ranking highest among all investor-owned energy companies in Florida and among the best in the nation for the second consecutive year. Since 2006, FPL has invested more than $2.7 billion to strengthen its electric system, resulting in fewer and shorter customer interruptions of service. Over the next four years, the company plans to make further investments to improve reliability by continuing to harden and automate its transmission and distribution system.
This month, FPL filed its latest generation plans and energy mix forecast with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) as part of the company's 2017-2026 Ten Year Site Plan. In its Ten Year Site Plan, FPL detailed its strategy to invest in a total of approximately 2,100 MW of new solar generation across Florida over the next several years. This total includes eight previously announced 74.5-MW solar sites, which will represent a combined generating capacity of approximately 600 MW. The eight sites are expected to commence construction this spring, with commercial operation for half of the sites by year-end 2017 and the remainder in the first quarter of 2018. FPL has secured sites that will potentially support more than 3 gigawatts of solar expansion and is working to develop plans and evaluate potential locations for future solar growth. By selecting optimal sites on FPL's transmission footprint and leveraging the company's industry-leading construction, sourcing and development skills, these projects are expected to be cost-effective for customers, resulting in significant savings over the lives of the projects.
As outlined in its Ten Year Site Plan, FPL also intends to further modernize its generation system by retiring the Lauderdale Plant in Dania Beach, Florida, and building a new, high-efficiency, natural gas-fueled clean energy center at the site. If approved, the proposed approximately 1,200-MW Dania Beach Clean Energy Center is expected to begin serving FPL customers by mid-2022 and save FPL customers hundreds of millions of dollars over its operational life. FPL expects to initiate the PSC approval process for the modernization during the second quarter of this year.
Over the last two years, FPL has bought out existing contracts with two independent coal-fired power plants with the goal of shutting both plants down, saving hundreds of millions of dollars for customers and significantly reducing emissions. The first of these, the Cedar Bay plant in Jacksonville, ceased operations at the end of 2016. FPL also has significantly reduced operations at the Indiantown plant in Martin County and it is on track to be retired by 2020. Additionally, in January 2017, FPL reached a preliminary agreement with JEA to close the St. Johns River Power Park, an approximately 1,250-MW coal-fired power plant in Jacksonville, Florida, jointly owned by the two utilities. If finalized, retirement of the St. Johns River Power Park in 2018 is expected to produce more than $100 million in savings for FPL customers, as well as eliminate more than 5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. FPL intends to seek approval this spring from the PSC for the plant's early decommissioning plan.
Since 2001, FPL's innovative approach to investing in affordable clean energy infrastructure, which includes adding advanced technologies and phasing out older coal-fired and oil-burning power plants, has saved customers more than $8.6 billion in fossil fuel costs and prevented 108 million tons of carbon emissions. FPL consistently ranks as one of the cleanest, most reliable energy providers in the nation, and the price that FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer pays for electricity continues to be less than it was more than 10 years ago.
NextEra Energy Resources
NextEra Energy Resources, the competitive energy business of NextEra Energy, reported a first-quarter 2017 contribution to net income attributable to NextEra Energy on a GAAP basis of $476 million, or $1.01 per share, compared to $224 million, or $0.48 per share, in the prior-year comparable quarter. On an adjusted basis, NextEra Energy Resources' earnings for the first-quarter of 2017 were $357 million, or $0.76 per share, compared to $306 million, or $0.66 per share, for the first quarter of 2016.
NextEra Energy Resources' contribution to first-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings per share increased $0.10, or approximately 15 percent, compared to the prior-year quarter, driven largely by continued strong contributions from new investments. The primary driver of earnings growth was growth in the contracted renewables portfolio, reflecting new wind and solar investments.
During the first quarter, the NextEra Energy Resources team continued to execute on its backlog and pursue additional opportunities for contracted renewables development. The team added 621 MW of new contracted renewables projects to the backlog, including 76 MW of new wind and solar for delivery through 2018 and 545 MW of new wind and solar for delivery post-2018. Also during the quarter, NextEra Energy Resources successfully commissioned the first 114 MW of its wind repowering program and continues to make solid progress on the remaining sites. The team also continues to actively pursue additional repowering opportunities within the company's existing U.S. wind portfolio.
The development activities of NextEra Energy Resources' natural gas pipeline projects remain on track. Construction on the Sabal Trail Transmission and Florida Southeast Connection pipeline projects is progressing well, with operations expected to begin in the second quarter of this year. The Mountain Valley Pipeline joint venture continues to progress through the permitting process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, with commercial operations expected to commence by year-end 2018.
Corporate and Other
On a GAAP basis, Corporate and Other earnings increased $1.33 per share in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the prior-year comparable period, primarily due to the gain on the sale of the fiber-optic telecommunications business. On an adjusted basis, Corporate and Other earnings decreased $0.04 per share in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the prior-year comparable period.
NextEra Energy continues to expect adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $6.35 to $6.85 for 2017 and in the range of $6.80 to $7.30 for 2018, implying a compound annual growth rate of 6 percent to 8 percent per year through 2020, off a 2016 base.