Florida Power & Light (FPL) has broken ground on three new solar power plants totaling 225MW in the US state of Florida, a move that will increase the company's current solar capacity by threefold.

FPL

The proposed solar power plants are expected to be built at a cost of around $400m, as reported by Bradenton Herald.

During the construction phase, the projects are expected to create close to 250 jobs in total.

FPL’s Manatee Solar Energy Center, Citrus Solar Energy Center and Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center, each with a capacity of 74.5MW will enter service by the end of this year, solarindustrymag.com reported.

The FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center will feature 338,000 solar panels over 762 acres and the Citrus Solar Energy Center is being built on 841 acres in DeSoto County, near the site of FPL’s first large-scale solar power plant.

FPL president and CEO Eric Silagy said: "Six years ago, not far from here, FPL commissioned what was then the largest photovoltaic solar power plant ever built in the United States with 90,000 solar panels."

The Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center is being built on 440 acres in Charlotte County, as part of the new Babcock Ranch sustainable community.

"Fast-forward to 2016, and we’re extending our leadership role in the renewable energy space by installing 1 million new solar panels. If you laid these panels end to end, they would nearly wrap around the entire state," Silagy added.

The new projects being built will be an addition to the company’s existing solar facilities with a combined capacity to generate 110MW of power.

Manatee County Commission chairman Vanessa Baugh said: "Making smart, cost-conscious investments in clean, renewable solar energy is the right thing to do for our state.

"We are very pleased to partner with FPL on this project that will also provide a much-needed injection of economic activity to our community, including hundreds of construction jobs."


Image: The proposed solar power plants will increase the company’s current solar capacity by threefold. Photo: courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.