Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) announced a major milestone, surpassing 40 percent completion of its groundbreaking “30-by-30” plan to install 30 million solar panels by 2030.
The “30-by-30” plan, launched in 2019, secured solar sites throughout the state, which has enabled the electric company to continue to cost-effectively build solar energy centers across Florida. The blueprint seeks to capture economies of scale and promote the construction of efficient and cost-effective solar generation throughout the Sunshine State. The end result will 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.
To date, FPL has installed more than 12 million solar panels in Florida, the largest solar expansion in the United States, putting the company closer to achieving its original vision.
“Reaching this milestone is an important step in our commitment to increase zero-emissions energy as FPL builds a more resilient and sustainable energy future all of us can depend on, including future generations,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “Despite the pandemic, our team has stayed laser-focused on executing our ‘30-by-30’ plan. Eight new solar energy centers have begun powering customers with clean energy so far this year, and three more are scheduled to come online before the end of this year.
FPL is on track to have 42 solar energy centers in Florida by the end of June, including its Discovery Solar Energy Center at Kennedy Space Center, which just became operational, and one more, which is expected to begin powering customers with clean energy in the coming weeks. The solar panels installed across the company’s sites are expected to save customers approximately $421 million over the lifetime of the assets, while making Florida third in the nation for solar generation, with a trajectory to be a world leader in solar capacity by the end of the decade.
“Nobody in the country is building more solar than FPL,” Silagy continued. “We’re dedicated to providing our customers with clean, affordable and reliable energy, while keeping bills among the nation’s lowest – and our rapid solar expansion helps us consistently deliver on this promise. In total, FPL customers are expected to save approximately $421 million from the cost-effective solar investments the company has made to this point.”
By the end of this month, the 42 large-scale solar energy centers installed throughout the state will also boast 3,000 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity – more than any other utility in the U.S. Nearly every solar energy center that becomes operational in 2021 will also support FPL SolarTogether™ – the company’s popular community solar program, which is the nation’s largest. FPL expects to achieve another major milestone by early 2022 when it anticipates to have installed more than 15 million panels, which would put the company more than 50% of the way toward completing its “30-by-30” plan.
By the end of 2030, FPL is planning to have more than 11,700 MW of universal solar capacity. To support its solar buildout, the company recently began installing the first components of the world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery system, the 400-MW FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center. Also, later this month, the company will demolish its last coal-fired plant in Florida, with plans to replace it with more clean, emissions-free solar energy power facilities.
“Since FPL first pioneered large-scale solar development in 2009, our industry has seen a transformation of what was once considered niche technology to solar becoming a dominant source of energy,” Silagy added. “Solar helps us reliably power our millions of customers, fuels our economy with jobs and benefits our environment.”