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Sunny future for Florida's energy

FPL is also continuing to bring more solar to local communities with innovative partnerships

Florida is one of the leaders in smart and cost-conscious solar energy
Florida is one of the leaders in smart and cost-conscious solar energy

"The coming years will be a game-changing time for solar in Florida”

Sites for the additional four plants include Alachua, Putnam and DeSoto counties

Florida Power & Light (FPL) has connected three 74.5-megawatt universal solar power plants to the state’s energy grid.


In addition, the utility, which claims to be the largest generator of solar energy in Florida, plans to build four more universal solar power plants as well as install several 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, FPL.


“FPL’s universal solar facilities enable all of our customers to enjoy the benefits of clean solar energy affordably. When the sun rises at one of our solar plants, thousands of homes and businesses are powered with cost-effective, zero-emissions energy. We believe in advancing solar affordably and responsibly for our customers and our state, and the coming years will be a game-changing time for solar in Florida.”


The completed solar plants are located at Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Centre, the Citrus Solar Energy Center and the Manatee Solar Energy Centre.


Designated sites for the additional four plants include Alachua, Putnam and DeSoto counties. 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.


“Increasing clean energy production in Florida has been on the minds of many Floridians for years, and it’s great to see FPL continuing to invest in solar,” said Eric Draper, executive director for Audubon Florida. “Clean energy technology will help protect the environment, by reducing emissions and saving water, benefiting everyone who calls Florida home, as well as the millions of people who visit our state each year.”


“Clean energy helps drive economic growth in our state,” added Brian Bergen, vice president of economic development for the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce. “FPL’s solar energy center will provide a boost to our local economy and the solar power it generates will be a draw for companies that value clean affordable energy.”


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 recently became the site of the newest community-based solar installation to be built via FPL SolarNow, a programme 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.


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