Cue the Bon Jovi music! When it comes to completion of Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) eight new solar projects, the utility is “halfway there.”
FPL announced it has installed more than half of the 2.5 million solar panels that will comprise the new utility-scale solar plants powering its customers by early 2018. According to the utility, construction activity at the new solar sites is at peak levels, with a workforce of more than 1,000 men and women, including military veterans, building the advanced facilities. Announced earlier this year and totaling almost 600 MW, the eight new plants are part of FPL’s larger plan to add more than 10 million solar panels from 2016 to 2023.
“We’re investing nearly $1 billion to grow solar in Florida this year alone, and we’re building each of these new solar power plants cost-effectively,” said Eric Silagy, FPL president and CEO, as he recently toured the construction site of the future FPL Barefoot Bay Solar Energy Center in Brevard County with community leaders. “Together, these eight new plants are projected to generate an estimated net lifetime savings of more than $100 million for our customers – over and above the cost of construction. Our continued commitment to rapidly expand solar energy while keeping customer bills low demonstrates that it is, in fact, possible to be both clean and affordable.”
“FPL’s clean energy infrastructure investments continue to pay off for Floridians and give our state’s economy a competitive advantage,” said Vicki Northrup, an economic development consultant in Brevard County. “Residents and businesses served by FPL are enjoying cleaner and cleaner energy while continuing to pay significantly less for power than the national average.”
The eight new FPL solar plants under construction and their expected completion dates are as follows:
- FPL Horizon Solar Energy Center, Alachua and Putnam counties (by Dec. 31, 2017)
- FPL Coral Farms Solar Energy Center, Putnam County (by Dec. 31, 2017)
- FPL Indian River Solar Energy Center, Indian River County (by Dec. 31, 2017)
- FPL Wildflower Solar Energy Center, Desoto County (by Dec. 31, 2017)
- FPL Barefoot Bay Solar Energy Center, Brevard County (by March 1, 2018)
- FPL Blue Cypress Solar Energy Center, Indian River County (by March 1, 2018)
- FPL Hammock Solar Energy Center, Hendry County (by March 1, 2018)
- FPL Loggerhead Solar Energy Center, St. Lucie County (by March 1, 2018)
According to the utility, each of the eight new solar plants will be capable of generating 74.5 MW of clean energy when the sun is shining for a combined total of nearly 600 MW.
FPL projects that solar will outpace coal and oil combined as a percentage of the company’s energy mix by the year 2020. From 2016 to 2023, FPL plans to add more than 2,300 new megawatts of solar, including the approximately 225 MW completed in 2016 and the nearly 600 MW currently under construction – totaling more than 10 million solar panels in all.