Early in 2019, the first in County, Miami-Dade Center, is going to be operational. This exciting information comes from Company. In , the center is going to cover 465 acres of farmland. The Solar Energy Center is anticipated to be able to generate 75 megawatts of electricity, which is nothing to sneeze at.

If you are not familiar with these measurements, then you might be wondering what exactly 75 megawatts of electricity means. Think of it like this – this would be enough energy to power 15,000 homes. That number is remarkable, to say the least! In Miami alone, according to census.gov in 2017, there were more than 1,024,200 housing units. Again, this is just in Miami. Supplying power to thousands of homes using clean energy is sure to make an impact.

Solar Energy Center Tour

Miami-Dade County and Florida Power & Light Company recently offered a behind-the-scenes tour of the new Miami-Dade Solar Energy Center, and it is quite impressive. The solar project will be number one in a series of four new solar farms to be constructed in Florida by . Currently, there are 14 such farms around the sunshine state. Other solar farms are located in Indian River, Brevard, Hendry and St. Lucie counties.

Miami-Dade strives to be a resilient community, and this new solar plant is part of that strategy. FPL also intends to add one million solar panels in the near future across the county. As of now, the new solar farm is going to have 300,000 solar panels. Clearly, FPL is really ramping up its game when it comes to solar power production. This is, of course, a clean source of renewable energy able to compete with natural gas, and in a state that can claim the sun as one of its best resources, it just seems like a no-brainer.

Combining Forces: Energy Sources Working Together

On the word of , Florida Power & Light CEO and President, it takes quite some time to build solar farms in Miami-Dade because finding large sections of available land is not easy. When it comes to solar farms, electrical transmission needs to be in close proximity. Silagy mentioned that while solar energy itself is a great thing, on cloudy days the solar panels are going to produce less electricity. But when this is the case, other energy sources are going to compensate for the loss, such as nuclear energy. Vice President of Development for FPL, Matt Valle, mentioned the possibility of borrowing electricity from other solar sites. How would this be possible? Easy. The solar sites across the state of Florida would be connected to the same grid.

According to Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the collaboration and effort going into the massive solar power plant is a huge step forward. Gimenez recognizes the importance of helping Florida Power & Light Company to develop clean, green energy. In addition to being good for the planet, adding the solar panels should help with economic development and in attracting new businesses.

As mentioned, this solar power plant being developed in West Kendall (in the farmland off ) should be operational early next year – and it is on track to be finished on time. Unfortunately, a great deal of the local habitat in the area has been damaged. But some, like Silagy, want to make the site a sanctuary, if you will. The plan is to work to give the land a new lease of life, meaning there will be nesting areas for birds, bees and grasses that haven’t been around for quite some time.

The future is looking bright, no pun intended. Follow solar news to stay on top of the latest developments, and think about the steps locals in your area could take to go green.

Sources:

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article220304520.html

https://miami.cbslocal.com/2018/10/18/miami-dade-fpl-work-on-solar-energy-center/

http://www.wlrn.org/post/fpl-previews-new-solar-farm-west-kendall

Photo Source: ANDREW QUINTANA / WLRN, http://www.wlrn.org/post/fpl-previews-new-solar-farm-west-kendall

 

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