TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The sun was in full force on the Capitol lawn Monday as lawmakers and entrepreneurs put on their shades and announced a bright future for solar power in Florida.
National Solar, a Melbourne company, is building a 400 acre solar farm 25 miles west of the state capital.
The plan is to put solar panels on twenty, 20-acre plots of land...and once that’s completed it will collectively be the biggest solar farm in the Southeast.
Construction on the project will begin early next year. It’s expected to create 400 jobs.
National Solar CEO James Scrivener says there is a dire need for renewable energy. “When it’s hottest, when the sun is shining the most, we are producing the most power; it’s also when every one’s air-conditioning is working the hardest.”
The announcement comes, as a California solar company, boosted by half a billion dollars in government subsidies, closes. The California company failed because it was trying to develop new solar technology. The Florida farm will use existing methods.
“We are not investing in technology. To us the technology is effectively a black box. We’re focused on the business model and the economics associated with these projects” Scrivener said.
So far there is no government money behind the Florida project. In an effort to keep the project in Florida Governor Rick Scott promised to speed up the permitting process for the new farm.
The company will make money by selling the energy it captures to utility companies. So far it’s secured a contract with Progress Energy.
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