MANATEE -- Construction on Florida Power & Light's Manatee Solar Energy Center in Parrish is expected to begin in January, a FPL official told commissioners Tuesday.
FPL updated the commission on the planned 74.5-megawatt Parrish facility during the meeting. The Manatee Solar Energy Center will be at 10870 John Corbett Road on 762 acres of FPL-owned property next to the Manatee Power Plant.
"They are already starting to turn some dirt out there," said Rae Dowling of FPL, adding all permits have been obtained.
A Feb. 11 groundbreaking ceremony is being planned, said Sophia Eccleston with FPL. The facility, which will be ground-mounted, provides large-scale solar.
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"We will have completed construction in Manatee County by the end of 2016," she said. "We will be very involved in the community and make sure we keep the neighbors informed in what is going on."
Commission Chairwoman Betsy Benac said she was
"very excited to see the project come to fruition."
By the end of 2016, FPL plans to generate 335 megawatts of solar power at its facilities, which is tripling FPL's current solar capacity, according to the presentation. "That is tremendous for the state," Eccleston said.