The solar projects, consisting of more than 2.5 million new solar panels at eight locations, are expected to deliver millions of dollars in net savings for FPL customers over their operational lifetimes. FPL is already the largest generator of solar energy in Florida and has consistently been ranked as one of the cleanest, most reliable energy providers in the US.
The price paid for electricity by a typical 1,000-kWh FPL residential customer is less than it was more than 10 years ago and well below the latest national average. Each of the eight new solar plants will be 74.5 MW in capacity for a total of nearly 600 MW, which is enough to power approximately 120,000 homes. The plants will be located at sites across Florida, including three previously announced locations in Alachua, Putnam and DeSoto counties. The locations of all of the new sites will be announced in the coming weeks.
“We have been working hard to drive down the costs of adding solar so we can deliver even more zero-emissions energy to all of our customers” said Eric Silagy, FPL president and CEO. “As the first company to build solar power generation cost effectively in Florida, we are proud to continue leading the advancement of affordable clean energy infrastructure. We have proven that it's possible to cut emissions and deliver reliable service while keeping electric bills low for our customers”.
Mr Silagy was speaking at a celebration at the FPL Manatee Solar Energy Centre, one of the company's three most recently completed solar power plants. Construction of the plants is expected to commence this spring with an estimated 200 to 250 jobs created during the peak of the construction phase.
Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida, added that an additional eight new solar energy centres is a major step toward reducing carbon emissions and saving water, benefitting the Earth and all Floridians.
The celebration event also included a solar-powered competition co-sponsored by the Florida Solar Energy Center. Nearly 50 teams of students in grades 4 through 12 from schools across the state participated in the competition, building solar ovens, solar race cars and other innovative projects.
FPL's affordable clean energy strategy continues benefitting customers
FPL's has invested in affordable clean energy infrastructure since 2001, including the addition of advanced technologies and the phasing out of older coal-fired and oil-burning power plants. This has saved FPL customers more than $8.6 billion in fossil fuel costs and prevented 108 million tons of carbon emissions. The result is that FPL is now cleaner than the carbon emissions goal set by the US Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan for Florida to meet by 2030, while the company's typical residential customer bills are among the lowest in the nation.
FPL currently operates more than 335 megawatts of solar generating capacity, enough to power 60,000 homes. In addition, the company has installed small-scale solar arrays for more than 100 Florida schools and other educational facilities. It also sponsors 50 robotics teams or clubs and a traveling science show that performs for approximately 80,000 grade school students each year.
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