Utility Florida Power and Light (FPL) will build 225MW of solar generation capacity and has signalled that the economics of PV has passed a major milestone in its service area.
Although FPL said solar was generally not cost effective in its area, the company said it had identified three sites with sufficient spare grid capacity and infrastructure to allow connection at the lowest possible cost. Plants totalling around 74MW will be constructed at each location. Work is planned to start this year with completion before the end of 2016.
"…We have been working especially hard to find ways to advance solar energy in Florida without increasing electricity costs, and we have developed what we believe will be a cost-effective plan to triple the amount of solar energy we use to serve our customers before the end of 2016,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO, FPL.
"As the economics of solar power improve in the years ahead, we believe we will be able to harness more and more sunshine cost-effectively, alongside essential, high-efficiency, clean natural gas generation and zero-emissions nuclear power, to continue powering our customers and the state's growing economy with affordable clean energy," said Silagy.
"These exciting large-scale solar projects, equivalent to roughly 45,000 typical residential rooftop systems, will bring new tax revenue and several hundred new jobs to rural communities we serve and deliver emissions-free power when the sun is shining to our customers across the state," he added.
FPL claimed that it will continue to offer below national average bills whilst hitting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) targets through its investment in new gas, nuclear and solar generation.
The company currently has 110MW of solar connected.