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Solar Project in Central Florida to Serve Municipal Utilities

Solar Panels - Florida Business Innovation

The Florida Municipal Power Agency has announced a new large-scale solar energy project that is expected to start operating in 2020. The new project is expected to include about 900,000 solar panels that will be installed at 3 locations in Central Florida.

A dozen municipalities are expected to purchase power from the solar-energy project in Orange and Osceola counties. The utilities that will be taking part in the project include:

  • Alachua
  • Bartow
  • Jacksonville Beach
  • Fort Pierce
  • Homestead
  • Key West
  • Kissimmee
  • Lake Worth
  • Ocala
  • Orlando
  • Wauchula
  • Winter Park

The Florida Municipal Power agency will serve as the project coordinator.

There will be three solar sites with a total of 1,200 acres (the equivalent of 900 football fields) that will be covered with solar panels. The total electricity output is expected to be 223.5 megawatts, which is enough to power approximately 45,000 Florida homes. Each solar site is expected to generate 74.5 megawatts.

The benefit of the collaborative project is that, with the 12 cities working together, they can collectively build larger, more efficient solar installations. The power output from this project will equal 37,250 average-size rooftop solar systems. The cost of solar energy from this project will be about one-third the cost of a private system, in part due to a ground-mounted solar panels that will include a computer-controlled tracking system that will follow the sun as it moves across the daytime sky, maximizing power output.

The solar farms will be owned and operated by NextEra Florida Renewables, LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc., which is also the parent company of Florida Power & Light. The wholesale power agency stated that they are committed to lowering the cost of solar power so that Florida customers have access to emissions-free electricity. A large project of this nature helps make solar more effective and reduces the cost to consumers.

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