Florida Power & Light (FPL) has announced plans to develop about 1.5GW of solar plants across the state of Florida in the next seven years.
The latest projects will add to the recently announced 8 solar plants with a total capacity of 600MW. The 1.5GW solar plants are expected to generate enough electricity to power at least 420,000 US homes.
Construction of the new solar plants is expected to start in 2019 and will continue through 2023. The company has not yet finalised any locations and it is still weighing potential locations.
The company plans to add to at least 300MW of new solar annually between 2017 through 2023.
About 9 million solar panels are estimated to be required for the construction of both 600MW and 1.5GW solar plants.
Besides, FPL announced plans to modernize the site of its first power plant in Dania Beach by deploying fuel-efficient natural gas technology to reduce air emissions. Recently, it reached an agreement to close down the St. Johns River Power Park, a coal-fired power plant in Jacksonville.
With the investments, FPL estimates solar power to exceed the contribution of oil and coal combined to its energy mix in less than three years.
In the coming years, the company expects to reduce coal and oil usage to less than 1% combined while more than quadrupling solar's share in its energy mix.
FPL president and CEO Eric Silagy said: "We continue to advance affordable clean energy strategically – making substantial improvements year after year while keeping overall electric rates lower than they were 10 years ago.
"We're currently building some of the lowest-cost solar ever seen in America, and our investments in more efficient natural gas technology are delivering enormous savings and environmental benefits for our customers and our state.
“Our strategy of making smart, long-term investments in clean energy infrastructure is working, and we're looking forward to keeping the momentum going with the major advancements announced today – which, combined, are expected to save customers more than half a billion dollars."
Image: FPL plans to add additional 1.5GW of solar plants in Florida. Photo: Courtesy of start08/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.