FPL touts 12 million solar panels, 40 percent completion of “30-by-30” plan
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Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) announced a major milestone, exceeding 40 percent completion of its groundbreaking “30-by-30” plan to install 30 million solar panels by 2030.
The “30-by-30” plan, introduced in 2019, secured solar sites across the state, allowing the power company to continue building low-cost solar energy centers across Florida. The design aims to achieve economies of scale and encourage the construction of efficient and cost-effective solar power generation across the Sunshine State. The end result will be the world’s largest installation of solar panels by a regulated utility and a fleet-wide reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 67 percent by 2030 compared to the national average.
To date, FPL has installed more than 12 million solar panels in Florida, the largest solar expansion in the United States, and is bringing the company closer to its original vision.
“Achieving this milestone is an important step in our drive to increase zero-emission energy as FPL builds a more resilient and sustainable energy future that we can all rely on, including future generations,” said Eric Silagy, President and CEO of FPL. “Despite the pandemic, our team has focused on implementing our 30 by 30 plan. Eight new solar energy centers started providing customers with clean energy this year, and three more are slated to go online later this year.
FPL is well on its way to having 42 solar energy centers in Florida by the end of June, including the Discovery Solar Energy Center at Kennedy Space Center that has just gone live and another that is expected to begin serving customers in the US to provide clean energy for the coming weeks. The solar modules installed at the company’s sites are expected to save customers around $ 421 million over the life of the plants and make Florida the third largest country in solar power generation, with the goal of being the world leader in solar capacity by the end of the decade.
“Nobody in the country builds more solar systems than FPL,” continued Silagy. “We strive to provide our customers with clean, affordable and reliable energy while keeping the bills at the lowest in the country – and our rapid solar expansion helps us consistently deliver on this promise. Overall, FPL customers are expected to save approximately $ 421 million from the cost-effective solar investments the company has made to date. “
By the end of this month, the 42 major solar energy centers installed across the state will also have 3,000 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity – more than any other utility in the U.S. Almost every solar energy center that goes live in 2021 will also support FPL SolarTogether™ – The company’s popular community solar program, which is the largest in the country. FPL expects to reach another major milestone by early 2022, when it is expected to have more than 15 million panels installed, which would bring the company more than 50% of the way to completion of its “30-by-30” plan.
FPL plans to have 11,700 MW of universal solar capacity by the end of 2030. To support its solar expansion, the company recently began installing the first components of the world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery system, the 400 MW FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center. The company will also demolish its last coal-fired power plant in Florida later this month and plan to replace it with cleaner, zero-emission solar power plants.
“Since FPL was first used in large-scale solar development in 2009, our industry has seen a transformation from what was once a niche solar technology to a dominant source of energy,” added Silagy. “Solar helps us to reliably supply our millions of customers, fuels our economy with jobs and benefits our environment.”