Florida Power & Light (FPL) has commenced operation of a 75MW solar energy center spanning approximately 500 acres in western Martin County, Florida.

The facility, called Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center, connects a field of more than 190,000 solar thermal mirrors with an existing combined-cycle natural gas power plant.

According to the company, the solar energy center is designed to harness free fuel from the sun’s rays to power about 11,000 homes.

FPL claims that construction of the facility over the past two years provided more than 1,000 direct jobs.

FPL president and CEO Armando Olivera said that large-scale renewable energy projects could attract new research and development, manufacturing and more to Florida, laying the foundation for a lasting industry to support the state’s long-term economic growth.