FPL Celebrates World’s First Hybrid Solar Farm

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) celebrated the official opening of the first major hybrid solar power installation in the world on the weekend – the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center.
     
Covering over 200 hectares, the solar farm consists of 190,000 solar thermal mirrors that have been integrated with existing combined-cycle natural gas power generation facilities. The heliostats also incorporate solar tracking to follow the sun throughout the day in order to maximise harvesting of the sun’s energy.
     
The hybrid solar farm will generate enough electricity to supply the needs of 11,000 homes and represents a fossil fuel saving of approximately 41 billion cubic feet of natural gas or more than 600,000 barrels of oil. FPL says the system will avoid over 2.75 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the plant’s estimated 30 year lifetime and save USD$178 million in fuel costs.
    
Construction of the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center over a two year period generated in excess of 1,000 direct jobs. It is the third of three large-scale solar projects FPL has completed over the past two years, creating more than 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. The company says the three facilities combined are now generating 110 megawatts of clean, solar electricity to Floridians.
   
Not content to rest on its existing renewable energy laurels, FPL says it has more than 500 megawatts of new solar power capacity in the pipeline and is ready make a start on several projects – if the state were to enable utilities to pursue renewable energy projects up to 2 percent of revenues. 
   
Florida Power & Light is one of the USA’s largest electricity utilities; providing power to approximately 4.5 million homes and businesses in about half the state of Florida. FPL commissioned the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, the largest solar panel based power plant in the United States in October 2009.
   
FPL is a NextEra Energy company, North America’s leading generator of wind energy and solar power.