FPL opens hybrid solar energy center
The hybrid facility connects a field of more than 190,000 solar thermal mirrors with an existing combined-cycle natural gas power plant
Indiantown, Fla., March 7, 2011 — Florida Power and Light Co., along with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, local public officials, construction workers, engineers, environmental experts and business leaders, celebrated the opening of the FPL Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center.
Innovative technology enables the mirrors to track the sun over the course of a day to harness free fuel from the sun's rays to create electricity and directly offset the use of fossil fuels.
"From job creation to cleaner air to energy security, this project demonstrates the many benefits of investing in large-scale renewable energy, especially in Florida," said FPL President and CEO Armando J. Olivera. "Leadership by the Florida Legislature in 2008 made this project and its myriad benefits possible. We're hopeful that today's leaders will take action to enable more cost-effective investments like this so we can continue taking dramatic steps forward to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and get more Floridians back to work quickly."
Construction of FPL's Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center over the past two years provided more than 1,000 direct jobs, the majority of which were filled by Floridians. In addition, the project used more than 150 businesses from across the state, helping support the employment of thousands of additional Floridians during difficult economic times.
FPL's 75-MW Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center is designed to harness free fuel from the sun's rays to power about 11,000 homes. This technology is expected to reduce fossil fuel consumption by about 41 billion cubic feet of natural gas and more than 600,000 barrels of oil — which would prevent the release of more than 2.75 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and save FPL customers about $178 million in fuel costs over the facility's estimated 30-year lifetime.
FPL's Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center was officially declared in-service in November 2010 and is the third of three large-scale solar projects that the company has completed over the past two years, creating more than 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. These three plants combined are now delivering a total of 110 MW of clean, solar energy to Floridians.
In addition, the plant is expected to generate more than $5 million in new local tax revenue in its first full year of operation, enabling Martin County to devote considerable resources toward long-term economic development.
FPL has already secured and permitted sites where more than 500 MW of new solar power could be built and is ready to launch several projects right away that would employ thousands of Floridians during construction, support local businesses and benefit customers.