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article imageFlorida power company to install 30 million solar panels by 2030

By Karen Graham     Jan 18, 2019 in Environment
Juno Beach - Florida Power and Light (FPL) announced Wednesday it will install 30 million solar panels by 2030, achieving "the largest installation of solar panels by a regulated utility in the world."
Juno Beach, Florida-based Florida Power and Light (FPL) said with its new “30-by-30” plan, the end result would be the largest deployment of solar panels by a regulated utility in the world, reports the Sun Sentinel.
FPL has developed close to 1,000 megawatts of solar capacity over the past few years, but the new plan is a major escalation of the company's solar capacity. FPL's deregulated sister-company, NextEra Energy Resources, has already become a global leader in renewables development.
The company has been busy preparing for the new project, pairing battery storage technology with its solar power plants and has secured a number of sites across the state, including in South Florida, to build solar energy centers. This includes two 74.5-megawatt solar energy centers in Palm Beach County, each with about 310,000 solar panels, according to FPL spokesman Chris McGrath.
Combined with FPL's nuclear power plants in St. Lucie and Miami-Dade counties, the planned energy generation and storage are expected to generate over 40 percent of its electricity free from carbon emissions by 2030. Additionally, the company's 2030 CO2 emissions rate target represents a 67 percent reduction in emissions, compared to the 2005 electric industry average.
Colin Smith, a senior analyst tracking utility-scale solar at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, points out that FPL's commitment to lowering emissions is another step forward in the national trend toward embracing renewable energy sources by regulated utilities.
“Over the last few years, we’ve seen a number of utilities crossing the 1-gigawatt threshold of planned capacity,” he said. “We’re now seeing whole utilities plan significant percentages of their entire generation portfolio to come from solar.”
This is FPL s solar installation at Naples Zoo. It generates clean  emissions-free energy  and provi...
This is FPL's solar installation at Naples Zoo. It generates clean, emissions-free energy, and provides shade for over 90 cars.
Florida Power and Light
FPL also plans to decommission its only remaining coal-fired power plant by the end of the year. The company shut down two coal-fired plants in Jacksonville in 2016 and 2018. Collectively, the closing of the two plants prevented nearly seven million tons of carbon emissions annually, according to the utility.
“FPL is not your traditional electric company,” says Eric Silagy, president, and CEO of FPL. “We’re a technology company that delivers power, and we’ve long believed in making smart, forward-thinking infrastructure investments to produce tangible, long-term benefits – cleaner air, lower electric rates, and reliable service – for our customers and our state.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis adds, “I am supportive of programs that will provide Floridians with greater access to affordable, clean energy, which will help propel the state to a healthier future. We live in the Sunshine State, and solar energy is a natural resource that should be seriously considered. FPL’s initiative is important. As Florida’s energy needs continue to grow at a rapid pace, it is important that we diversify our energy resources. This is vital to the economic well-being of our state and quality of life for residents.”
Currently, FPL operates 14 major solar power plants and more than 200 smaller solar installations across the state. The power company serves 4.9 million accounts and 10 million people in Florida.
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