FPL helping solar shine in the Sunshine State

FPL helping solar shine in the Sunshine State

FPL helping solar shine in the Sunshine StateSolar is having its day in the Sunshine State, thanks to FPL.

Today, Florida ranks eighth for installed solar capacity — and the forecast calls for even brighter days ahead.

In just three years, our state is expected to rise to the No. 2 spot — behind only California — and comfortably remain there, ahead of 48 other states, for the next decade.

What’s not on the rise? Our power bills. Californians pay between three and four times as much for their electricity as we do.

The right economics will continue to drive the growth of renewable energy in our state. And, when it comes to solar, Florida Power & Light is full speed ahead.

According to the Smart Electronic Power Alliance, FPL ranks second among electric utilities across the country for the amount of solar they have added to the grid. National bragging rights is not bad, but FPL is set on making Florida a world leader in solar generation with an impressive plan to install 30 million solar panels by 2030.

I have no doubt they will get us there.

I was sold on the company’s approach to solar after touring the FPL solar power plant on Krome Avenue with the company’s CEO Eric Silagy.

Row upon row of solar panels — more than 300,000 — can generate enough energy from the sun to power 15,000 homes.

The solar farm opened earlier this year and is one of 18 solar plants FPL operates around the state. It is FPL’s biggest solar investment in our community to date, but as I learned, FPL’s solar history in Miami runs deep.

Silagy told me FPL built its first solar facility in Miami back in 1984 to help the company’s employees gain experience with the then-emerging technology. Today, employees continue to learn alongside Florida International University’s brain trust. Under a multi-year research grant, students and faculty analyze data from an FPL solar facility located at FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing. This smart partnership is advancing solar and our workforce. FPL hires more grads from FIU than any other university in the country. Special thank you to FIU president Mark B. Rosenberg and FPL CEO Eric Silagy for making our community a better place.

And speaking of jobs, Florida ranked second in the nation last year in solar employment, behind California. That’s a trend that will continue. Construction of 10 new FPL solar plants this summer should create about 2,000 more jobs.

As the saying goes “patience pays.” By waiting until solar made financial sense for its customers and collaborating with the best partners, FPL’s solar expansion is a win for our economy, our environment and our future generation.

FPL got solar right.

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