Each of the eight new solar plants will have a capacity of 74.5MW. Image: FPL

Each of the eight new solar plants will have a capacity of 74.5MW. Image: FPL

Florida Power & Light Company, the largest generator of solar energy in Florida, announced Monday that it is planning to develop eight new universal solar projects in the state — with completion set for early 2018.

Each of the eight new solar plants will have a capacity of 74.5MW — equalling out to a total of nearly 600MW, which is enough to power approximately 120,000 homes.

Eric Silagy, FPL president and CEO, said: "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. 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.”

The plants will be located at sites across Florida, including three previously announced locations in Alachua, Putnam and DeSoto counties.

Construction is expected to commence in Spring 2017. During peak construction, an estimated 200 to 250 people will be working at each project.

Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida, added: "A year ago, I stood here as FPL broke ground on this solar site, marking the start of the installation of one million solar panels that are now producing zero-emissions energy. An additional eight new solar energy centers is a major step toward reducing carbon emissions and saving water, benefitting the earth and all Floridians."

Tags: florida, florida power and light

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