Florida’s New 90,000 Solar Panel Power Station

Florida Power & Light Company recently announced its DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia will begin generating electricity later this month.

The facility will (temporarily) grab the title of largest solar farm in the North America according to the company. The project represents one of the largest private capital investments in the county and generated around 400 jobs during the peak of construction.

The plant was constructed in under a year and uses over 90,000 solar panels. Annual estimated electricity generation of the solar farm will be approximately 42,000 megawatt hours or enough power to serve about 3,000 homes.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center will avoid the release of more than 575,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere over the life of the facility, which is equivalent to taking more than 4,500 cars off the road every year.

Additionally, the electricity generated by the solar farm will reduce the use of fossil fuels in Florida by more than 277,000 barrels of oil and 7 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

The DeSoto facility is one of three new commercial-scale, solar power plants Florida Power & Light Company is constructing in Florida. Together, these will total 110 megawatts of capacity by the end of 2010 and are could make Florida the second largest solar power-producing state in the country.

FPL Vice President and Chief Development Officer Eric Silagy said the company is positioned to build even more solar farms over the next two to three years if the state’s legislative and regulatory leaders continue to support solar energy.