FPL installs 500,000th new solar panel – halfway to 1 million total planned by year’s end
Florida Power & Light Company, which is the largest generator of solar power in Florida, recently announced that it has completed the installation of half of the 1 million new solar panels it plans to add by the end of this year to power its customers. The panels will comprise three new solar energy centers, each of which will provide 74.5 megawatts of generating capacity, making them among the very largest solar facilities in the eastern U.S. “We’re tripling the amount of solar energy we generate for our customers this year, and we plan to continue adding more cost-effective solar in the future,” said Eric Silagy, FPL president and CEO. “Laid end to end, the 1 million solar panels would just about wrap around the entire coastline of Florida, or put another way, would extend from Florida to Chicago. Today, we’re halfway there. Undeniably, Florida’s clean energy landscape is bright, and we’re proud to continue leading the advancement of affordable clean solar energy for our customers.”
FPL’s new solar energy centers are being built cost-effectively, meaning there will be no net cost to the company’s customers after savings from fuel and other costs. By leveraging its ability to buy solar panels in bulk and other cost-saving advantages, the company is advancing solar energy affordably for its customers. FPL currently operates 110 megawatts of large-scale universal solar at three sites in Florida, in addition to numerous smaller installations across the state. The three new solar energy centers — located in Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte counties – in addition to several commercial-scale installations, will produce a total of more than 225 new solar megawatts in 2016. The facilities include:
- FPL Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center, Charlotte County, Fla. (under construction)
- FPL Citrus Solar Energy Center, DeSoto County, Fla. (under construction)
- FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center, Manatee County, Fla. (under construction)
- Daytona International Speedway, Volusia County, Fla. (entered service Feb. 2016)
- Florida International University, Miami-Dade County, Fla. (entered service May 2016)
- Broward Young At Art Museum & Library, Broward County, Fla. (entered service April 2016)
- Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, Palm Beach County, Fla. (entered service June 2016)
“Our customers and our state benefit from clean energy done responsibly,” said Silagy. “That’s why we continue to make smart investments that improve the efficiency of our system, reduce fuel consumption, prevent emissions and cut costs for our customers for the long-term.” FPL is cleaner today than the carbon emissions goal set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan for Florida to meet by 2030. At the same time, FPL’s typical residential customer bills are about 30 percent lower than the national average.
Other solar facilities that FPL operates include:
- FPL Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center, Brevard County, Fla.
- FPL DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, DeSoto County, Fla.
- FPL Martin Clean Energy Center (hybrid solar/natural gas), Martin County, Fla.
In addition, FPL has installed small-scale solar arrays for more than 100 Florida schools and other educational facilities.