Like so many sunflowers turning their petals to the skies, thousands of solar panels have sprouted on a Samsula sod farm.
Fanning out across about 1,200 acres, the panels in Florida Power & Light’s new solar facility are expected to go live later this month.
The 74.5 megawatt facility is one of four new plants Florida’s largest utility expects to open in January. FPL workers are finishing the installation in Samsula and making the last checks of converter boxes that will send enough electricity to the company’s grid to power an estimated 14,500 homes.
This week, FPL also announced plans for a massive solar expansion, with a goal of 30 million solar panels by 2030. That’s enough panels to wrap around the Earth one and a half times, Eric Silagy, FPL’S chief executive officer, told The News-Journal.
“It’s very exciting. It’s a continuation of what we have been doing but on a vastly larger scale,” Silagy said. The “30 by 30″ expansion will “change the dynamics and make Florida a real leader of solar in the world.”
The company plans to add 10,000 megawatts of solar, in more than 100 additional facilities across Florida. Silagy said the sites are “secured” but not being announced at this time.
Florida lags behind other states in solar production, but other companies also have announced expansions, including Duke Energy, which goes before the DeBary City Council in February to propose a solar farm.
To Laurie Cromie, a Deltona resident and long-time solar activist, it’s good to see utilities expanding their solar production. But she’d like to see them do even more. She’d also like to see local governments adding solar programs that could lower the monthly utility bills of low-income residents. [click for full article]