FPL Poised to Power Up Nation’s Largest Solar PV Power Plant
The Arcadia, Florida facility will overtake Nevada’s Nellis Solar Power Plantas the largest solar photovoltaic facility in the U.S., and in NorthAmerica. Constructed in less than a year, the DeSoto Center uses over90,000 photovoltaic panels to turn the sun’s rays into electricitypowering over 3,000 homes.
The DeSoto Center is one of three new commercial-scale, renewable,solar power plants Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is buildingin Florida, along with solar energy centers in Martin County and at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.Together, these solar arrays will total 110 megawatts of capacity bythe end of 2010 and will make Florida the second largest solarpower-producing state in the country.
According to Eric Silagy, FPL vice-president/chief of development,large-scale solar projects such as DeSoto provide Florida with theopportunity to create and attract more clean-energy jobs, producemillions of dollars in new revenue for local governments, reducegreenhouse gas emissions, and fight the effects of climate change.
“FPL is proud to lead the development of clean, renewable solarenergy in Florida, and we are positioned to build even more over thenext two to three years if the state’s legislative and regulatoryleaders continue to support solar energy,” Silagy said.
Over the past year, Silagy added, the facility benefited the localeconomy in DeSoto County by creating more than 400 jobs duringconstruction. The county will also receive annual tax revenues thatwill amount to $2 million for schools and other local services by theend of next year.
“Solar photovoltaic power also provides significant environmentalbenefits because the facility consumes no fuel, uses no water andproduces no waste,” Silagy noted. “Over the life of the facility, theDeSoto Center will avoid the release of more than 575,000 tons ofgreenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this isequivalent to taking more than 4,500 cars off the road every year. Theelectricity generated by this facility will reduce the use of fossilfuels in Florida by more than 277,000 barrels of oil and 7 billioncubic feet of natural gas.
FPL is the largest electric utility inFlorida and one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the UnitedStates. Servicing 4.5 million customers, FPL is a leading employer inthe state with nearly 11,000 employees. The company consistentlyoutperforms national averages for service reliability while customerbills are well below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPLhas one of the lowest emissions profiles and the No. 1 energyefficiency program among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary ofJuno Beach, Florida-based FPL Group, Inc.
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