Florida Power & Light (FPL) has awarded contracts to Black & Veatch and Blattner Energy to build eight solar plants, each with power generating capacity of 74.5MW, in the US state of Florida.

Earlier this month, FPL announced its plans to build the eight solar plants with a total capacity of 596MW in the ‘sunshine state’ and now it has awarded the contracts through a competitive bidding process.

The two companies will each build four solar plants.

Blattner Energy has been awarded the engineering, procuring and construction (EPC) contract for the construction of Coral Farms Solar Energy Center in Putnam County, Horizon Solar Energy Center in Alachua and Putnam Counties, Indian River Solar Energy Center in Indian River County and Wildflower Solar Energy Center in DeSoto County.

The four farms are scheduled for completion this December.

Black & Veatch will be the EPC contractor for four wind farms which include Barefoot Bay Solar Energy Center in Brevard County, Blue Cypress Solar Energy Center in Indian River County, Hammock Solar Energy Center in Hendry County and Loggerhead Solar Energy Center in St. Lucie County.

These solar farms are scheduled for completion in March 2018.

FPL has noted that the capital cost for the eight plants is less than $1,500/kW and is considered to be among the lowest in the US. The solar farms are expected to generate net savings in millions of dollars for FPL customers, mainly because of the projected reduction in the use of fossil fuels.

The eight solar farms are expected to provide power to about 120,000 US homes and help in offsetting about 525,000 tons of carbon emissions per year.

During the peak construction phase, the projects are expected to create a total number of 1600 jobs, with 200 employees at each of the solar farms.

FPL president and CEO Eric Silagy said: "Solar is an integral part of our affordable clean energy strategy, but we also have a duty to invest responsibly on behalf of our customers. It's incredibly important to us that these major projects be done right.

"It's no easy feat to build eight solar plants. We've selected project partners who share our commitment to quality, affordability and efficiency."

Black & Veatch project manager Troy Ochoa said: "Black & Veatch is thrilled to build on the success of the 2016 FPL solar projects in support of FPL's vision to provide its customers with affordable, clean and sustainable energy for generations to come.

"These new solar facilities build on our vast experience in the expanding renewable energy markets across the US and globally."

Image: FPL awards contracts for construction of eight solar farms in Florida. Photo: Courtesy of start08/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.