Hitting the halfway mark midway through the month, Juno Beach-based Florida Power & Light installed its 500,000th new solar panel on Sept. 15, the utility announced — with the expectation of reaching 1 million by year’s end.
The installation was revealed to be one of three new large-scale Florida solar energy centers located respectively in Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte counties. Each is anticipated to provide 74.5 megawatts capacity, rendering the sites among the largest facilities of their kind in the eastern U.S.
Equally beneficial to Floridians is the system’s cost-effectiveness; FPL is able to provide economically priced solar energy by buying in bulk and passing the savings on to consumers.
"We're tripling the amount of solar energy we generate for our customers this year, and we plan to continue adding more cost-effective solar in the future," FPL president and CEO Eric Silagy said. "Laid end to end, the 1 million solar panels would just about wrap around the entire coastline of Florida, or put another way, would extend from Florida to Chicago.”
Florida has excelled in meeting and exceeding national standards for clean energy, having already complied with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's carbon emissions goal for the state well before its 2030 deadline. Further, residential bills tend to run approximately one-third lower than the national average.
“Today, we're halfway there,” Silagy said. “Undeniably, Florida's clean energy landscape is bright, and we're proud to continue leading the advancement of affordable clean solar energy for our customers."