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Politics

FPL: We Will Make Florida a World Leader in Solar Energy by 2030

January 17, 2019 - 6:00am
FPL battery storage
FPL battery storage

Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) announced Wednesday a "groundbreaking '30-by-30' plan" to install more than 30 million solar panels by 2030, a feat that will make Florida a world leader in the production of solar energy.

"Laid end-to-end, 30 million solar panels would wrap around the Earth one-and-a-half times," says FPL.

The company has secured solar sites throughout the state, which will enable it to continue to cost-effectively build solar energy centers throughout Florida. FPL claims this bold plan will capture economies of scale and promote the construction of efficient and cost-effective solar generation. The end result will be the largest installation of solar panels by a regulated utility in the world and a 67 percent fleet-wide reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rate by 2030, as compared to the national average.

FPL and its sister company, NextEra Energy Resources, are already the world's largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and sun. When this plan is completed, the company claims, FPL will be the largest utility owner and operator of solar in America. Having advanced clean energy affordably for many years, including embarking upon one of the largest solar expansions in the country over the past two years, FPL also will be making unprecedented investments in advanced and innovative battery storage technology that will extend the use of clean, affordable solar energy even after the sun has gone down.

"FPL is not your traditional electric company," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "We're a technology company that delivers power, and we've long believed in making smart, forward-thinking infrastructure investments to produce tangible, long-term benefits -- cleaner air, lower electric rates and reliable service -- for our customers and our state. Now we're taking our long-standing clean energy commitment to the next level. Bottom line, this bold, innovative plan is the right thing to do for our customers and for our fast-growing state, and we look forward to working with local and state officials and our regulators to make this vision a reality."

Said Gov. Ron DeSantis, "I am supportive of programs that will provide Floridians with greater access to affordable, clean energy which will help propel the state to a healthier future. We live in the Sunshine State and solar energy is a natural resource that should be seriously considered. FPL's initiative is important. As Florida's energy needs continue to grow at a rapid pace, it is important that we diversify our energy resources. This is vital to the economic well-being of our state and quality of life for residents."

"FPL's '30-by-30' plan is a monumental commitment to the State of Florida, our clean energy progress and the economic well-being of our cities, counties and all Florida workers and residents," said state Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

"The best part about this announcement is that we know we can trust FPL to deliver on its promise because the company has a history of overachieving when it says it will modernize Florida's clean energy mix," said state Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, chairman of the Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee.

FPL already has begun pairing battery storage technology at its solar power plants. Future technology is planned to increase the capacity and cost-effectiveness of batteries, making them a vital part of FPL's future. As a result, the company projects to deploy a significant amount of battery storage throughout Florida by 2030.

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