Entrepreneur Of The Year 2010
Road to Palm Springs
Lewis Hay, III
NextEra Energy, Inc.
Juno Beach, Florida
While others scratched their heads and wondered what lay in store for America’s energy future, Lew Hay saw the answer. It was blowing in the wind.
Early on in his tenure as CEO of FPL Group, Inc. (renamed NextEra Energy earlier this year), Hay convinced the company’s executive team and board of directors that the company should become a major player in the wind business.
At the time, the company was dominated by its subsidiary, Florida Power & Light Company. Hay, who was named CEO in 2001 and chairman in 2002, put the company on a new course of entrepreneurial leadership and innovation.
In 2008, he took the company’s wind business international for the first time, approving the acquisition of 85 megawatts in Canada. By 2009, the company had substantial investments in the wind energy business.
Today, the company is No. 1 in wind energy in the United States by a large margin, and it is the leading renewable energy provider in North America.
Hay continues to be an innovator. NextEra Energy is bringing to Florida the solar energy expertise it developed in California, where it operated the world’s largest solar fields.
Among the three utility-scale solar energy centers the company is building in Florida are the largest photovoltaic power plant in the United States and an innovative “hybrid” power plant combining solar energy with combined-cycle natural gas technology.
Especially noteworthy during the past decade has been the remarkable growth of the company’s renewable energy business, built virtually from scratch to Fortune 500 size.