Sunday, July 17, 2011

Florida Power & Light Saves $22 Million with Nation's Largest Photovoltaic System

In the "Sunshine State," the choice to go solar seems virtually pre-ordained – and SunPower is helping Florida Power & Light fulfill that destiny.

The utility completed construction on what was America’s largest solar photovoltaic power plant in DeSoto County, and a second at NASA’s Kennedy Center. SunPower designed and built both facilities, which will produce a total of 35 megawatts of solar energy. With an estimated 360 days of sunlight in Florida annually, FPL's future as a leading producer of clean, renewable energy will be sunny indeed.

20 BY 2020
Aiming to trim Florida's greenhouse gas emissions, in 2007 Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced a mandate for all of his state’s utilities to generate at least 20 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020. Fortunately, for nearly three decades the FPL Group – one of the nation’s largest providers of electricity-related services – had been exploring innovative energy technologies such as wind and solar power. "We're a national leader in renewables," notes Kathy Salvador, manger of project development at Florida Power & Light (FPL), one of the FPL Group’s main subsidiaries. "So going to solar powered-electricity for our 4.4 million customers complements that strategy."

As a state-regulated utility, FPL was required to have appropriate legislation in place to produce solar power. Explains Salvador, “We needed a specific policy that would allow us to recover the costs from our customers.” By 2008 Florida lawmakers approved such legislation, authorizing the production of 110 megawatts of solar power statewide. In anticipation of the bill’s passage FPL began evaluating solar providers, sending out a Request for Information to approximately 50 vendors, and then asking for bids from a short list of finalists. “Given the efficiency and cost of SunPower® solar panels, their experience with utility-scale projects, and the fact that they could commit to delivering within our timeframe, SunPower was the obvious choice,” Salvador says. More >>>

Location: Cayman Islands