Four new FPL solar plants now operational

FPL Solar
Another six FPL solar plants went online last month.

Florida Power & Light (FPL) is opening four new solar plants Friday as part of its plan to install 30 million solar panels by 2030.

Plants will open in Suwannee County (FPL Echo River Solar Energy Center), Manatee County (FPL Southfork Solar Energy Center), Okeechobee County (FPL Okeechobee Solar Energy Center) and Palm Beach County (FPL Hibiscus Solar Energy Center).

In 2019, the company announced construction on a set of 10 new solar power plants, including the four opening Friday.

Six others — in Baker, Putnam, DeSoto, Martin, Charlotte and Hendry counties — opened last month.

“Our solar expansion will continue to generate environmental benefits, create needed jobs and save our customers money, while making the Sunshine State a leader in solar energy,” said Eric Silagy, President and CEO of FPL.

Each solar plant has a 74.5-megawatt capacity. Altogether, those plants have enough capacity to power 150,000 homes. The company said each location creates approximately 200 jobs as well.

“FPL plans to complement its solar expansion with 1,200 MW of battery storage – a 40-fold increase in capacity over the next decade,” the company added in a statement.

“This includes the world’s largest solar-powered battery – a 409 MW project in Manatee County – that will accelerate the retirement of two 1970s-era fossil fuel units on the same site.”

Those solar plants come online as the company has also helped customers cut power costs amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, the Florida Public Service Commission approved a plan to drop FPL customers May bill by approximately 24%.

“As all of us navigate through this uncertain time together, FPL can’t lose focus on finding new, innovative ways to deliver an even cleaner, more sustainable energy future,” Silagy added.

“It’s what our customers expect us to do and it’s simply the right thing for our state and will ensure that our children and grandchildren can enjoy Florida for generations to come.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


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