Florida Power & Light Co., the largest generator of solar energy in Florida, has plans to build on the successful completion of its latest solar energy centers with even more solar in 2017.
FPL officially connected three new 74.5-megawatt universal solar power plants to the energy grid that serves its customers on Dec. 31, 2016. In 2017, FPL plans to build four more universal solar power plants and also install several innovative solar systems in local communities.
“By investing strategically in affordable clean energy, we continue to improve the efficiency of our system, reduce fuel consumption, lower emissions and help keep costs down for our customers over the long term,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL.
Four new solar centers
The newly completed solar plants – the FPL Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center, the FPL Citrus Solar Energy Center and the FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center – were all built on time, under budget and cost-effectively, meaning there will be no net cost to customers after savings from fuel and other generation-related expenses.
In 2017, FPL plans to build four more 74.5-megawatt solar energy centers across the state, including sites in Alachua, Putnam and DeSoto counties that have received local approvals. Construction is expected to begin as early as the first quarter of 2017. Additional large-scale solar facilities are also in development and may be announced in the coming months.
FPL’s solar expansion plays a significant role in its forward-looking strategy of making smart investments that generate affordable clean energy for customers. The company’s innovative approach to clean, fuel-efficient generation, which includes phasing out coal-fired and oil-burning power plants, has saved FPL customers more than $8 billion in fuel costs and prevented 95 million tons of carbon emissions since 2001.
Bringing solar closer to local communities
In addition to large-scale, universal solar power plants that provide clean energy to all of its customers via the energy grid, FPL is also continuing to develop urban and community-based solar installations.
For example, in 2016, FPL built a major commercial-scale solar array at Florida International University’s College of Engineering & Computing in Miami. The 1.4-megawatt installation generates power for the energy grid and provides real-time data for students and professors conducting advanced energy research. The solar array is comprised of more than 4,400 panels on canopy structures that create shade for about 400 parking spaces.
Also, the Palmetto Estuary Nature Preserve in Palmetto, Fla., recently became the site of the newest community-based solar installation to be built via FPL SolarNow, a program supported by voluntary contributions from thousands of FPL customers. A 50-kilowatt solar canopy in the preserve’s parking area generates energy and provides shaded parking for visitors.
FPL plans to announce further enhancements to its innovative community solar offerings in the coming months.
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