Florida’s Solar Boom: 30 million solar panels by 2030

Written By: Jen Neville
January 17, 2019

solar finance

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Florida Power & Light Company recently announced a groundbreaking "30-by-30" plan to install more than 30 million solar panels by 2030 and make the state of Florida a world leader in the production of solar energy.

FPL had secured solar sites throughout the state, which would enable the company to continue to cost-effectively build solar energy centers across Florida. This bold plan would capture economies of scale and promote the construction of efficient and cost-effective solar generation. The end result would 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 and, when this plan is completed, FPL expects to 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 would also be making unprecedented investments in advanced and innovative battery storage technology that would extend the use of clean, affordable solar energy even after the sun has gone down.

"FPL is not your traditional electric company," stated 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."

FPL has already begun pairing battery storage technology at its solar power plants. Future technology would be 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.

FPL's planned renewable energy generation and storage, combined with its nuclear power plants, is projected to generate more than 40 percent of its electricity emissions-free by 2030, even as the state's population – the third highest in the nation – continues to grow. In fact, the company's 2030 CO2 emissions rate target represents a 67 percent reduction versus the 2005 U.S. electric industry average.

"FPL and NextEra Energy Resources have been at the forefront of advancing affordable clean energy for decades," Silagy added. "It's why our customers enjoy electricity that is among the cleanest and most reliable in the country for a price more than 30 percent below the national average. That said, we're not satisfied with the status quo and understand that our customers expect even more from us as energy experts and industry leaders. It's why we're reimagining the way we serve our customers and challenging ourselves to find even more innovative ways to do what's best for Florida and the nation."

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