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9-27-18

Solar plant construction along I-10


-Photo by Stephen Heiman


Sumitted


The Sunshine State is quickly becoming recognized as the ‘Solar State’ with companies like Florida Power & Light continuing to build solar farms across Florida. Travelers driving along interstate 10 and interstate 75 can now catch a glimpse of FPL’s newest solar energy center being constructed.
 
Soon to be home to more than 350,000 photovoltaic solar panels, the FPL Sunshine Gateway Solar Energy Center will generate 74.5 megawatts of clean, zero-emissions energy to power FPL customers through the energy grid – that’s enough solar energy to power approximately 15,000 homes.
 
“We’re in the midst of one of the largest solar expansions ever in the U.S.,” said FPL spokesman Stephen Heiman. “Since 2016, FPL has added more than 800 megawatts of solar energy capacity and plans to build even more in the coming years.”
 
Nearly 200 construction workers are now working to build the site and have installed more than 60,000 solar panels.
 
“When possible, we encourage our contractors to hire local talent when possible and when it make economic sense,” Heiman said. “It’s great to see locals taking part in bringing clean energy to the area.”
 
Columbia County will benefit from this project as work crews stay in local hotels, eat in the restaurants and shop in local stores. In addition, the site will provide a significant tax revenue for the County.

 
The FPL Sunshine Gateway Solar Energy Center is one of four FPL is building this year – adding nearly 300 megawatts to the company’s fuel mix by early 2019. The other three sites are located in Volusia, St. Lucie and Miami-Dade Counties.
 
FPL currently operates 14 solar power plants across the state totaling more than 935 megawatts.