FPL Breaks Ground on First Hybrid Solar Plant

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) announced that it has broken ground on its Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center, a hybrid solar energy plant and the first utility-scale solar facility in Florida. The 75-megawatt facility marks an important early step in Florida’s quest to use more solar energy, the utility said.

“Florida’s future growth and economic strength depends on how we address climate change, and we know we can reduce greenhouse gases by using fewer fossil fuels and more natural energy sources like solar,” said FLorida Governor Charlie Crist. “This solar facility is a significant step in that direction.”

The solar facility will consist of approximately 180,000 mirrors over roughly 500 acres of land at the existing FPL Martin Plant location. As a hybrid solar facility that combines a solar-thermal field with a combined-cycle natural gas power plant, the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center will use less fossil fuel when heat from the sun is available to help produce the steam needed to generate electricity.

The Martin facility is the largest of three solar projects FPL is building in Florida. With a combined total of 110 megawatts, the facilities will make Florida the No. 2 producer of solar energy nationwide.

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