MANATEE — Florida Power & Light Co. plans to build four new solar power plants this year, including one in Manatee County. 

According to a press release, the plants are expected to begin powering customers in early 2020. FPL is also planning new plants in Okeechobee, Palm Beach and Suwannee counties. 

“These solar plants are part of our commitment to installing 30 million more solar panels by 2030 across more than 100 new solar sites, resulting in the creation of thousands of jobs here in our state,” says FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy in a statement. 

Each of the new solar plants will be capable of generating 74.5 megawatts of power from the sun for a combined addition of nearly 300 megawatts of new solar capacity, which is enough to power about 60,000 homes, according to a press release.

The FPL Southfork Solar Energy Center in Manatee County will be FPL’s second solar plant in the county. FPL Manatee Solar Energy Center was built in 2016. 

“It’s exciting to continue to be a part of what FPL’s solar expansion is doing for our state,” says Manatee County Commissioner Priscilla Whisenant Trace in a statement. “We know firsthand the benefits a solar plant brings to our community and look forward to the additional economic and environmental benefits, including more green energy and jobs, another solar facility will bring to Manatee County.”

FPL currently operates 18 solar power plants. A press release says it’s the largest energy company in the U.S. measured by retail electricity produced and sold. It has about 8,700 employees and is a subsidiary of Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy Inc.


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