FPL Centralized Solar Themal
New solar plant welcome addition to our region
OUR POSITION: The new 25-megawatt
Sun we've got for free. Converting it into electricity to keep our homes cool is another thing.
The state Public Service Commission last week approved a
bid by Florida Power & Light to charge up-front costs to customers for
construction of three solar plants, the largest one in
The decision is great news for
For rural DeSoto, it will bring
a welcome economic boost in what could become a showpiece of 21st century
alternative energy production. FP&L plans to build a 25-megawatt
photovoltaic plant at a 1,525-acre site FP&L owns east of U.S. 17 roughly a
mile south of the
Given ideal conditions (
The FP&L plant also quickly will become one of the county's largest property taxpayers, boosting the county's tax base. Construction and operation will provide jobs fo r locals and bring new tax-paying residents to the area. It's a clear win for the county.
Increased production of solar energy also is an important
The DeSoto plant is one of three
planned by FP&L for the state. The company intends to build a 75-megawatt
solar thermal plant in
FP&L's solar plants -- with a price tag of $688 million -- will only begin to fill the state's energy needs in coming years. FP&L notes conservation has already paid off: The mythical "typical" customers today use roughly 30 percent less electricity per household compared to 20 years ago.
And the Public Service Commission's green light on the solar plants was overshadowed by its approval of Progress Energy's proposed $17 billion nuclear plant in Levy C ounty. That could generate 2,200 megawatts, which would supply 1.3 million homes.
But the solar power field is an important step forward in
developing clean energy sources for
With the world's largest solar plant so close to home, that industry could further add to the region's economy.