FPL meets more than one-third of its Florida target in under a year
FPL Group's Florida Power & Light Company is working on new solar energy projects that include the world's largest photovoltaic solar plant and the first "hybrid" energy center, coupling solar thermal technology with an existing combined-cycle generation unit.
Along with a previously announced photovoltaic solar installation at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the projects will generate 110 megawatts of emissions-free electricity.
"Pending regulatory approval, FPL will build 110 megawatts of solar power right here in the Sunshine State, making Florida No. 2 in the nation for solar energy," said FPL Group Chairman and CEO Lewis Hay.
These projects represent an accelerated implementation schedule of the commitments the company made at the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2007, which called for an initial 10 megawatt trial followed by the construction of 300 megawatts of solar power in Florida and 500 megawatts nationwide over seven years.
With the latest announcement, FPL is meeting more than one-third of its Florida target in under a year.
The three plants in South and Central Florida will cost $688-million and represent the first commercial-scale renewable energy to be installed in the state. Combined they will be capable of generating enough electricity for 35,000 homes and businesses.
The projects are:
· The DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center - Planned for construction to commence by year-end 2008 on FPL-owned property in DeSoto County, Fla., the DeSoto project will provide 25 megawatts of photovoltaic solar capacity, making it the world's largest photovoltaic solar facility.
· The Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center - Planned for construction to commence by the beginning of 2009 at FPL's existing Martin Plant site, the Martin project will provide up to 75 megawatts of solar thermal capacity in an innovative "hybrid" design that will connect to an existing combined-cycle power plant. When the power of the sun is producing electricity from steam, less fossil fuel is required.
· The Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center - Planned for construction to commence by the beginning of 2009 at the Kennedy Space Center, the Space Coast project will provide 10 megawatts of photovoltaic solar capacity in an innovative public-private partnership.
The company has secured the necessary zoning approval and has access to the necessary transmission infrastructure for all three projects. The Martin and DeSoto County projects will be built entirely on FPL-owned land.
Together, the three sites will prevent the release of nearly 3.5 million tons of greenhouse gases over the life of the projects, which is the equivalent of removing 25,000 cars from the road per year, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.