FPL Selects Park/Landfill for 250 kW Solar PV Array

Through its Sunshine Energy program, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) selected Rothenbach Park in Sarasota as the site for its first solar photovoltaic (PV) array. The Sarasota Board of County Commissioners approved the location for the site, pending final permitting. Rothenbach Park is also the location of the closed Bee Ridge Landfill.

“We sought a location that had ground site large enough for 250 kilowatts of photovoltaic panels,” said Jeff Bartel, vice president of external affairs for FPL. “We relied on input from the county to choose this location. Sarasota County officials have a strong environmental commitment and we are excited about the prospect of utilizing a closed landfill for a solar facility.” The solar array, which will be mounted on ground level and visible from the road, will be built with 1,200 PV solar panels and will be more than 28,000 square feet, about half the size of a football field. Each panel will be about 31 inches wide and 63 inches long. “We are pleased that FPL selected Rothenbach Park as the location to build its first solar array on the west coast as a result of the Sunshine Energy program,” said Jodi John, manager of Sustainable Sarasota. “We are proud to do our part for the environment and contribute to advancing an alternative energy source. We encourage everyone to visit the park and see the benefits of a renewable energy source first-hand.” The new 250-kW solar facility is said to become the largest solar array in Florida and one of the largest in the southeast. It will prevent more than 680,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the air each year, the equivalent of not driving 760,000 miles annually. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer. Sunshine Energy is a voluntary green power program offered as a choice for FPL residential customers who want to support cleaner, renewable electric generation. FPL does not profit from this program. Nearly 24,000 participants have voluntarily signed up for Sunshine Energy since FPL launched the renewable energy program two years ago. The program was recognized by the U.S. EPA and DOE as a 2005 Green Power Leadership Award Recipient. When customers select FPL’s Sunshine Energy program, they support cleaner electricity generated from bio-energy, wind and solar and pay only $9.75 more each month to ensure 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of cleaner electricity, which is produced by generators serving Florida and other states nationwide.
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