Florida Power & Light (FPL) has broken ground on the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, which wil be the first “commercial-scale” solar PV power plant in the state and one of the largest installations of its kind in the U.S., according to the utility.
The 25-MW facility (shown in an artist’s rendering at left), which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2009, will use a system comprised of 90,000 SunPower high-efficiency crystalline-silicon panels mounted on arrays incorporating the solar company’s Tracker technology.
The facility will provide significant economic benefits to DeSoto County, creating more than 200 jobs during peak construction and providing more than $2 million in annual tax revenues by the end of 2010 to help boost the local economy, FPL said.
The DeSoto center is one of three new solar facilities that FPL is building in Florida. Together, the plants will add a total of 110 MW of solar energy capacity.
FPL broke ground in December on the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center, which is being called the world’s first hybrid solar energy plant and the second-largest solar thermal plant in the nation. It will generate 75 MW of solar energy once it is fully operational in 2010.
FPL plans to build a third facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, which will add 10 MW to the state’s solar capacity.