Utilities and Telecom
Trendsetters: Utilities, Telecom
[Photo: Matt Dean]
Florida Power & Light
chief development officer,
Brush with Hollywood: Silagy met his wife, Laura, in Washington while both worked as congressional aides. She was legislative director for Charlie Wilson of Charlie Wilson’s War fame. They attended the D.C. premiere. “It’s probably 95% accurate.”
Future issue: Limiting and eliminating the need for water in power generation. “I think water is going to get even more expensive. It’s a precious commodity.”
Nuclear: “I’m convinced it’s part of the solution.”
Education: Bachelor’s, economics, University of Texas; law degree, Georgetown University
As Florida Power & Light develops new power generation in the state, whether nuclear, solar or gas, Eric Silagy will be behind it. In November, the 43-year-old became the utility’s chief development officer charged with building the utility’s power portfolio.
Silagy started in the power business in Congress. As a college grad, he opened mail in the office of then-Sen. J. Bennett Johnston, rising eventually to chief of staff for the Louisiana Democrat and touring energy facilities around the globe with Johnston, who chaired the energy and natural resources committee.
Silagy left the Capitol in 1997 to join the Wing Group, a Texas-based energy concern, working in Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Singapore and elsewhere in Asia. He was a vice president for mergers and acquisitions at Entergy when FPL Group and Entergy considered merging. He met FPL’s leadership, and in 2003 joined to lead its M&A activities before later taking over the $2 billion in annual revenue FPL Energy unit in Texas.
His task list as chief development officer for FPL Group’s utility subsidiary is to add two nuclear generation units at the utility’s Turkey Point site in Miami-Dade and to update gas-
fueled plants at Riviera Beach and Cape Canaveral so that they use a third less fuel, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by more than half. He also will build the world’s first hybrid solar thermal-natural gas plant in Martin County and the largest photovoltaic solar facility in the world in De Soto County. “I’m very proud we’re pushing the envelope and we’re going to make a difference.”