FPL’s 75-megawatt Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center is designed to harness free fuel from the sun’s rays to power about 11,000 homes.
Florida Power & Light Company, along with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, local public officials, construction workers, engineers, environmental experts and business leaders, today celebrated the first hybrid solar power plant in the world – FPL’s Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center.
"Diversifying our state’s energy sources is not only good energy policy, it can be good for the economy as well. This project demonstrated that when Florida facilitates significant private investment, we can plan for our future and get Floridians back to work at the same time," said Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos.
"Energy security is critical to our national security. FPL’s new hybrid solar facility is an important piece of an all-of-the-above energy solution, and I’m glad to see our state is once again leading the way toward a more secure energy future for Florida and America," said U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16).
FPL’s Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center was officially declared in-service in November 2010 and is the third of three large-scale solar projects that the company has completed over the past two years, creating more than 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. These three plants combined are now delivering a total of 110 megawatts of clean, solar energy to Floridians.
"Today we are creating Florida’s future as the clean energy state. By investing in emissions-free solar power, FPL is creating a brighter future and reducing the risk to our citizens from the environmental and economic risks of fossil fuels," said Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon of Florida.
In addition, the plant is expected to generate more than $5 million in new local tax revenue in its first full year of operation, enabling Martin County to devote considerable resources toward long-term economic development.
"The positive impact this project has had on our community and will continue to have on Martin County in the coming decades is extraordinary," said Ed Ciampi, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. "This innovative project showcases Martin County and Florida to the world as a dynamic leader in solar energy, and we couldn’t be more proud."
FPL has already secured and permitted sites where more than 500 megawatts of new solar power could be built and is ready to launch several projects right away that would employ thousands of Floridians during construction, support local businesses and benefit customers.
"With a strong commitment from the state, large-scale renewable energy projects could attract new research and development, manufacturing and more to Florida, laying the foundation for a lasting industry to support the state’s long-term economic growth," Olivera said.
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest electric utility in Florida and one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the United States. FPL serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is a leading employer in the state with approximately 10,000 employees. The company consistently outperforms national averages for service reliability while customer bills are below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE).