September 20, 2016

Florida utility hits installation milestone for three PV projects

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

By Richard A. Kessler in Fort Worth

Thursday, September 15 2016 / Updated: Thursday, September 15 2016

Florida Power & Light is halfway toward installing one million solar panels by the end of this year at three PV projects in the state totaling 74.5MW of nameplate capacity.

The utility said the facilities will be the largest in the eastern US.

They are FPL Babcock Ranch Energy Center in Charlotte County, FPL Citrus Solar Energy Center in DeSoto County and FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center in Manatee County. All three counties are located in Florida’s west coast.

“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 FPL chief executive Eric Silagy.

“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,” he added.

FPL says the new projects are being built cost-effectively, meaning there will be no net cost to the company’s customers after savings from fuel and other costs. It has been leveraging its ability to buy solar panels in bulk.

FPL currently operates 110MW of large-scale solar at three sites in Florida, in addition to numerous smaller installations across the state.

The utility claimed it is cleaner today than the carbon emissions goal set by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) for Florida to meet by 2030. The CPP, now tied up in the courts, would force a 32% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels.