At our solar energy centers throughout Florida, we grab our state’s sunshine and turn it into clean electricity for you. And, now, we’re planning to build three new solar energy centers, tripling the amount of clean solar energy we can produce for our customers. It’s all part of our ongoing strategy of advancing clean energy, while keeping electricity affordable for customers. Also, by using solar energy and other clean, American-made energy sources, like natural gas, we’ve been able to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by 99 percent, while helping to make the air we breathe cleaner. This is how we’re working to change Florida’s energy today to create a better tomorrow for all of us.
New Solar Energy Centers
We’re planning to build three new solar energy centers before the end of 2016, adding more than 1 million solar panels. That’s enough to cover about 3,000 football fields* or the equivalent of roughly 45,000 typical residential rooftop systems. These new solar energy centers, combined with other solar efforts in the communities we serve throughout Florida, would add more than 225 megawatts of new solar capacity, effectively tripling the 110 megawatts of solar energy serving our customers today. The most likely locations for the new plants are DeSoto, Charlotte and Manatee counties, with the centers serving our customers across Florida. They will join FPL’s three other solar energy centers that are already producing clean electricity for thousands of homes and businesses.
* Estimate based on 10 acres per megawatt.
FPL Martin Next Generation Clean Energy Center
At this first-of-its-kind “hybrid” solar facility in the world, which opened in 2010, we’ve teamed up Florida’s sunshine with affordable, American-produced natural gas. Together, they can deliver reliable electricity to you around the clock. When the sun is shining, we use more than 190,000 mirrors over roughly 500 acres to harness Florida’s sunshine. The sun’s rays heat fluid-filled tubes, producing steam, which generates electricity for your home or business. At night or when it’s cloudy, U.S. natural gas steps in to continue producing clean electricity for you as featured in this video from America's Natural Gas Alliance.
FPL Space Coast Next Generation Solar Center
This innovative public-private partnership with NASA brings more clean, solar energy to our customers. The solar center leverages the expertise of NASA, the first pioneers of solar power use in space, and FPL’s leadership in renewable energy here at home. Located at Kennedy Space Center, it uses PV solar panels to convert light into electricity for you. Since it began serving our customers in 2010, this center feeds about 18,500 MWh of electricity into our state’s electric grid each year, or enough for more than 1,100 homes. Like all of our solar energy centers, it helps us reduce foreign oil use and prevent the emission of about 13,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases each year, which is like removing 2,700 cars from the road.
FPL DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center
At Florida’s first-ever solar energy center, 90,500 solar panels move into position to catch the sun’s rays. The largest of its kind in the nation when it opened in 2009, this facility continues to serve customers using photovoltaic, or “PV,” technology – a process for converting sunshine directly into electricity for our customers. It works for you during the day, when the sun is not hiding behind clouds, producing about 52,000 MWh of electricity annually. That’s enough to power about 3,000 homes. The emissions-free center is estimated to help us eliminate nearly 37,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases each year and thousands of barrels of oil, making it a clean and energy independent way to bring you electricity.