FPL prepares to power up nation’s largest solar PV power plant facility this month
The DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center’s 90,000 photovoltaic panels will energize Florida by end of October
JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company announced today that it expects the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia, Fla., to begin delivering electricity to customers later this month – ahead of schedule.
The facility will overtake Nevada’s Nellis Solar Power Plant for the title of largest solar photovoltaic solar facility in the nation and in North America. Constructed in less than a year, the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center uses over 90,000 photovoltaic panels to turn the sun’s rays into electricity to power more than 3,000 homes.
The DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center is one of three new commercial-scale, renewable, solar power plants FPL is building in Florida, along with solar energy centers in Martin County and at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Together, these will total 110 megawatts of capacity by the end of 2010 and are expected to make Florida the second largest solar power-producing state in the country.
“Large-scale solar projects such as FPL’s DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center provide Florida with the opportunity to create and attract more clean-energy jobs and produce millions of dollars in new revenue for local governments while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting the effects of climate change,” said FPL Vice President and Chief Development Officer Eric Silagy. “FPL is proud to lead the development of clean, renewable solar energy in Florida, and we are positioned to build even more over the next two to three years if the state’s legislative and regulatory leaders continue to support solar energy.”
Over the past year, the facility benefited the local economy in DeSoto County by creating more than 400 jobs during construction. The county will also receive annual tax revenues that will amount to $2 million for schools and other local services by the end of next year.
Solar photovoltaic power also provides significant environmental benefits because the facility consumes no fuel, uses no water and produces no waste. Over the life of the facility, the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center will avoid the release of more than 575,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to taking more than 4,500 cars off the road every year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, the electricity generated by this facility will reduce the use of fossil fuels in Florida by more than 277,000 barrels of oil and 7 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
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