Florida Power and Light flipped the switch on its new 74.5-megawatt power plants in Parrish, Arcadia and Charlotte County on Dec. 31, FPL announced Friday.
The new plants are now fully operational and were completed on schedule, said Alys Daly, FPL’s manager of public affairs.
In addition, FPL plans to build four more universal solar power plants and install several innovative solar systems in local communities, Daly said.
New plants have been proposed for Alachua, Putnam and DeSoto counties. The fourth location has not been announced.
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“We are also doing more on the community scale solar,” Daly said, citing the Palmetto Estuary Nature Preserve. That installation, a 50-kilowatt solar canopy in the preserve’s parking area, generates energy and provides shaded parking for visitors.
The solar panels will generate power for our community from the sun while raising awareness for solar energy with everyone who visits the park.
Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant
The Palmetto project was built through FPL SolarNow, which is supported by contributions by FPL customers.
“The solar panels will generate power for our community from the sun while raising awareness for solar energy with everyone who visits the park,” Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant said in an FPL press release.
The new solar plants were built under budget and cost-effectively, meaning there will be no net cost to customers after savings from fuel and other generation-related expenses, FPL said.
Construction crews “are out of there,” Daly said of the completion of work at Parrish.
The solar plants are environmentally friendly and create no emissions, require no fossil fuel to operate, generate no new road traffic and add no impervious surface, Daly said.
The new Parrish solar plant is a supplement to the FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center, which generates 2,800 megawatts and runs on natural gas.
Ground was broken for the Parrish solar plant in February 2016. Workers installed 338,000 solar panels in 11 months.
The three new plants that were activated Dec. 31 tripled FPL’s solar capacity. Total cost for the three plants was $400 million, the Herald previously reported.
As of Dec. 31, FPL generates more than 335 megawatts of solar energy, enough to power approximately 60,000 homes.
FPL’s major installations
FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center, Manatee County
FPL SolarNow array at the Palmetto Estuary Nature Preserve, Manatee County
FPL Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center, Brevard County
FPL DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, DeSoto County
FPL Martin Next Generation Clean Energy Center (hybrid solar/natural gas), Martin County
FPL Solar Circuit at Daytona International Speedway, Volusia County
Solar research installation at Florida International University, Miami-Dade County
FPL SolarNow array at the Broward Young At Art Museum & Library, Broward County
FPL SolarNow array at the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, Palm Beach County
FPL Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center, Charlotte County
FPL Citrus Solar Energy Center, DeSoto County