NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE ) announced Friday that it's teaming up with Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE ) to improve Florida's natural gas infrastructure. NextEra subsidiary Florida Power & Light had previously put out a request for proposals to improve its offerings, and this project beat out the next closest idea by almost $600 million.
The joint venture will pour around $3 billion into the construction of Florida's third major pipeline, connecting Alabama to Georgia and Florida consumers. NextEra will also invest an additional $550 million by itself to connect one of its natural gas power plants to the central pipeline hub.
Florida Power & Light President Eric Silagy noted in a statement:
At FPL, we have worked hard to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and to keep our customers' bills low. Since 2001, our investments in cleaner, more efficient, natural gas power plants have saved our customers more than $6 billion on fuel costs. To continue meeting the growing needs of our customers efficiently and reliably in the years ahead, we will need more natural gas than the two existing major pipelines can deliver, which makes a third, independently routed pipeline system absolutely essential.
In addition to using the pipeline itself, NextEra also notes that other corporations can contract pipeline capacity for their own purposes. Construction is expected to begin in 2016, with full operation expected in 2017.