Municipal-Backed Solar Project Hits Milestone with Panel Installments
Solar energy to start powering 12 Florida cities in mid-2020
ORLANDO, Fla., March 2, 2020 – The Florida Municipal Power Agency, along with 12 municipal utilities, reached a milestone in Phase I of a major solar project with the installation of solar panels at the Harmony Solar Energy Center in Osceola County, Florida. The solar site is one of five that will be part of the Florida Municipal Solar Project, the largest municipal-backed solar project in the nation.
“We’re thrilled to see the start of nearly 1.5 million solar panels being installed,” said Jacob Williams, general manager and CEO of the Orlando-based wholesale power agency. “When completed, these solar sites will add to our clean power generation and provide affordable energy to our customers.”
Construction on Phase I of the solar project began in November 2019 and will include a total of 900,000 solar panels at two sites in Osceola County and at one site in Orange County. The total generating capability will be 223.5 megawatts of zero-emissions energy, which is enough to power 45,000 typical Florida homes.
FMPA is serving as the project coordinator, and the 12 municipal utilities, who are member-owners of FMPA, will purchase power from the project. The 12 local utilities include: Alachua, Bartow, Beaches Energy Services (Jacksonville Beach), Fort Pierce Utilities Authority, Homestead, Keys Energy Services (Key West), Kissimmee Utility Authority, Lake Worth Beach, Ocala, Orlando Utilities Commission, Wauchula and Winter Park. The builder, owner and operator of the solar farms is Florida Renewable Partners, whose parent company is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from wind and the sun.
With construction underway, FMPA and its members continue to expand solar power generation. The group last December announced Phase II, which will add two solar sites that are expected to come online by the end of 2023. When Phase II of the project is complete in 2023, the utilities will have a total of nearly 375 megawatts of zero-emissions energy, which is enough to power 75,000 typical Florida homes.
The cost of solar energy from this project is about one-third the cost of electricity from a typical private, rooftop system. The ground-mounted solar panels have a computer-controlled tracking system that moves the panel to track the sun as it travels from east to west, maximizing power output.
For more information on the Florida Solar Municipal Project or FMPA, visit www.fmpa.com.
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Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) is a wholesale power agency owned by municipal electric utilities in Florida. FMPA’s mission is to provide low-cost, reliable and clean power, plus value-added services for FMPA’s owner-customers that benefit their communities and customers. The 31 members of FMPA serve 2.3 million Floridians and employ more than 3,600 people.
Florida Renewable Partners, LLC, is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), which is the largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun in the world and the parent company of Florida Power & Light.