These business people were exceptionally notable during the past year.
[Photo: Supernova Foto LLC]
In 2011, Florida Power & Light knocked down the towering stacks at a 1960s-era power plant in Riviera Beach in Palm Beach County to clear the site for a cleaner, more fuel-efficient natural gas plant, part of $2.4 billion the utility is spending there and to replace a plant near Kennedy Space Center. Under Lew Hay, chairman and CEO of FPL parent NextEra Energy, the Juno Beach company is spending up to $11 billion in Florida through 2014 on new plants and up to $4 billion nationally on solar while also expanding
Hay, who joined NextEra as CFO in 1999, has been CEO since 2001 and chairman since 2002. He's made NextEra a leader in modernizing utilities and in alternative energy generation. NextEra's wind, solar and nuclear business alone would rank as a Fortune 500 company. He also influences energy policy as vice chair of the investor-owned electric utility association, the Edison Electric Institute, and in 2011 took a seat on President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. The company also began a collaboration with Scripps Florida on clean energy research last year.
Under Hay, 15,000-employee NextEra placed first in 2011 on Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies list in the electric and gas utility sector and in the top 10 overall for most socially responsible companies. EnergyBiz magazine in 2011 made him its CEO of the year and Ethisphere magazine named NextEra one of the most ethical companies.
— Mike Vogel