Two new Florida solar farms are now online, capable of producing enough energy to power 30,000 homes.
Beaches Energy, which serves more than 35,000 customers in Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Palm Valley and Neptune Beach, is among six utilities in the state buying solar energy from the two new farms, which are part of the Florida Municipal Solar Project.
The two solar farms in Central Florida have nearly 600,000 solar panels filling about 1,500 acres, according to the Florida Municipal Power Agency, which is a wholesale power agency owned by municipal electric utilities in Florida.
The Harmony Solar Energy Center is in St. Cloud, and the Taylor Creek Solar Energy Center is in east Orange County near Wedgefield.
They are the first of five solar farms planned that will total 1.5 million solar panels and generate nearly 375 megawatts by the end of 2023, which will be enough to power approximately 75,000 Florida homes.
“Today is a major step forward in providing affordable, solar energy to our customers,” said FMPA’s Jacob Williams, general manager and CEO of the Orlando-based wholesale power agency in a Tuesday email to WJCT News. “Through this project, we are adding to our already low emissions generation portfolio and meeting customers’ expectations to provide solar energy in the most economical way.”
Once completed, 16 local utilities will purchase solar power from the project: Alachua, Bartow, Beaches Energy Services (Jacksonville Beach), Fort Pierce Utilities Authority, Havana, Homestead, Keys Energy Services (Key West), Kissimmee Utility Authority, Lake Worth Beach, Mount Dora, New Smyrna Beach, Newberry, Ocala, Orlando Utilities Commission, Wauchula and Winter Park.