FPL adds 10 solar energy centers to power 150,000 homes

New sites include 2 in St. Lucie County, 1 in Okeechobee
FPL Bluefield Preserve Solar Energy Center in St. Lucie County.
Posted at 11:21 AM, Feb 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-05 11:21:55-05

JUNO BEACH, Fla. — Florida Power and Light Co. has added 10 new solar energy centers, which are enough to power approximately 150,000 homes, according to the electric company.

The sites include Cavendish Solar Energy Center in Okeechobee County and two in St. Lucie County: Pink Trail Solar Energy Center
and Bluefield Preserve Solar Energy Center in St. Lucie County. The site in Okeechobee will provide power to the FPL Cavendish NextGen Hydrogen Hub, which is expected to be completed at the end of this year, FPL says, and will be state's first-of-its-kind "‘green hydrogen" facility.

The other new sites are two in Calhoun County, one in Clay County, one in Escambia County, one in Jackson County, one in Miami-Dade County and one in Santa Roe County.

The 10 new centers are capable of generating 745 megawatts of quiet, emissions-free energy, which represents taking 140,000 gasoline-dependent cars off the road each year, according to FPL.

The electric company also expects six more solar energy centers to come online later this year.

    In all FPL has 60 solar energy centers installed statewide to power electricity for 900,000 homes. FPL has approximately 5.8 million accounts, or more than 12 million people.
    FPL’s solar power plant fleet is the largest in America and has saved customers about $375 million in fuel costs in 2022.

    FPL says it hopes to eliminate carbon emissions from its power plant fleet by no later than 2045.

    "This important milestone for FPL is the latest example of our unwavering commitment to America’s largest solar buildout on behalf of our customers and the Sunshine State,” Tim Oliver, vice president of FPL Development, said in a news release. “We remain committed to making sustained, long-term investments in solar energy – which uses no fuel to produce energy – to build a more resilient and more sustainable energy future our children and grandchildren can depend on.”

    FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy, Inc.

    Late last month, FPL proposed another rate increase to offset the costs of two hurricanes last year. The proposal, which was filed with Florida Public Service, seeks to balance unrecovered fuel and storm costs from 2022, as well as a recent decline in projected fuel costs in 2023.

    The cost recovery for Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole would be spread over a 12-month period, according to FPL.

    The Juno Beach-based utility company earlier received approval for a rate hike in 2023.

    Under FPL's proposal, a typical 1,000-kWh residential bill for customers in Florida's peninsula would increase by about 10%.

    Even with the proposed increase, its rates remain "well below the national average and remain the lowest among Florida's investor-owned utilities."