If Florida Power and Light (FPL) had already been off and running with the handful of projects related to the “30 by 30” plan, then the utility has now entered a dead sprint. Today the utility announced that it is beginning construction on 10 projects across Florida, all clocking in at that magical “30 by 30” capacity of 74.5 MW.
Usually when we talk about unprecedented development, it’s in the terms of one large, singular project. However, regardless of the separate locations, what is impressive about this is the total scale: 745 MW.
The plants are set to be located in Charlotte, Hendry, DeSoto, Suwannee, Palm Beach, Baker, Okeechobee, Manatee, Martin and Putnam counties. FPL expects all of the projects to be completed by early 2020, however firm timelines will become clear later in the construction process. Even without a hard date, getting 745 MW operational in close to one year is no easy feat.
Once completed, these projects will increase FPL’s installed capacity by 60%, which is impressive, because usually when a figure like that is stated it’s referencing a 100 MW project in a state with just over 100 MW installed, it’s made only more monumental when that number is 60% of a utility that has already installed over 1.25 GW of solar. All in all, these projects will generate enough electricity to power roughly 150,000 homes.
Almost as significant as the scope of solar being installed is the amount of labor that will be required to keep these projects going. FPL expects that each project will create 200 jobs at peak labor, for a grand total of 2,000 workers plugging away. To keep up with this, FPL has contracted with a handful of South Florida contractors and, impressively, expects a significant portion, if not a majority of the labor to come from Floridians.
And, although their capacities are the same, these…dectuplets? double quintuplets? will be fraternal. A spokesperson for FPL shared with pv magazine that while the company has agreed to purchase 7 million modules from Jinko Solar over the course of the “30 by 30” plan, the projects will use a mixture of modules from different manufacturers. The real distinguishing factors between the siblings will be how they track the sun. That same spokesperson shared that some of the projects will use single-axis trackers and others fixed-tilt racking, though no projects will use a mixture of the two.
Quality Roundtable @ SPSE, 30 May from 12:30 - 2:30pm
Trouble in the South: Hurricanes, floods and damp heat
Join pv magazine Quality Roundtable @ Solar Power Southeast trade show in Atlanta, 30 May, to explore the unique challenges of deploying solar in Southern states.
Featuring experts from NEXTracker, Shoals, First Solar and PV Evolution Labs, sharing experiences from both the field and the lab to inform developers, installers, engineers and contractors – as well as financiers and asset owners – on dealing with this diverse set of challenges.
Following the completion of these plants, FPL will have 28 plants in operation. And, of these 10 projects, six of them will support SolarTogether, the utility’s flagship community solar program, one which will be the largest in the country if and when it is approved by the Florida Public Service Commission.
Florida is known for being a crazy state. For now, it’s the state of crazy solar development. But Florida is far from alone. With the huge projects that we are seeing approved in previously under-developed markets such as Ohio and Indiana, even bigger projects in Texas, and the boom in projects applying for interconnection in queues across the nation, the solar tsunami that we talked about at the beginning of this year is becoming a fact on the ground.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: email@example.com.
I actually see this as bad news in light of the Solar Bill of Rights debacle. Meaning, the rush by any utility to spread their wings is inversely proportional to DG being able to spread their own wings.
Sorry, but I don’t see the Dollar General connection to this story.
DG distributed generation
I guess that is a pretty decent start to their 30×30 campaign.
Increase that a modest 2% per year and FPL would have a little over 10GW by 2030. Hopefully they have higher aspirations than that.
That’s good I hope it will cut the cost in the FPL bill I hope so.
It should. FPL has been clear that the large-scale solar it builds is cheaper than its other forms of generation.
getting panels maybe an issue based on current market conditions.
All Solar is good but some solar is better. What I mean is that it is great that FPL is investing in these large projects that hopefully will help ALL Floridians. That said, what is FPL doing to encourage individual homeowners and business owners to invest in their own power plant. The Sun has no delivery charge, and the individual should also be encouraged. Anything we can do to offset the use of Fossil Fuel combustion, and Nuclear should be encouraged, and I am not sure that FPL is putting programs in place for massive DER not just large scale Solar power plants where they can still control the pricing and distribution of solar.
That is at the heart of my comment. The more and the larger the resources FPL invests in a hurry, the faster and the easier they can lobby Congress to block individual generation that may attempt to cut off ties. As technology evolves soon there will be microinverters in the marketplace allowing for a complete disconnect.
Can’t beat rate base returns in a mkt closed to competition.
Of course FPL is doing it to make money and to control solar energy.
No one even talks about it. I was going to say ”gee do you think so!” But that would be rude.
Solar farms are far more successful economically compared to individual home systems.
I think what you mean is that the cost at the point of generation is much less expensive for large-scale solar than rooftop.
But that’s only cost. Distributed generation also provides additional values, including 1) fewer line losses 2) less dependence on expensive transmission and 3) resiliency.
Until you count both value and cost, you aren’t doing a real comparison.
We’ve been waiting a couple of years for Next Era/FPL/GP to build the farm they announced for Escambia County. The hoops through which they must jump are numerous. Financing is interesting to follow, too. As for the bill, I am on a co-op and we pay way more than FPL customers a mile away. Worse, the co-op fights tooth and nail against home solar projects. Some of us endure the paperwork nightmare to have our own solar. Some use clever workarounds that are available, such as hybrid and Zero Export Grid Tie. Be happy with your FPL bill, if you have one. Be happier if solar results in lower prices. Hopefully the end of the buildout will begin an era of greater dividends for the stockholders.
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.