Florida, a state known for its political leaders’ refusal to face the climate crisis, has just embraced a plan to more than double the solar power capacity of its largest utility.
The Florida Public Service Commission last week voted unanimously to approve a long-watched request by Florida Power & Light to build 3.5 gigawatts of new solar capacity over the next five years.
The new buildout will add 16 million solar panels across 50 sites, on top of the roughly 3 gigawatts of solar power FPL has already deployed. It’s part of a major expansion that’s pushed the state from 10th in the country for solar in 2016 to fourth place in 2021, and an expected move to third place next year. The plan will also add electric-vehicle charging stations in the state.
“Florida is a rapidly growing state on the front lines of climate change and our customers deserve bold, decisive, long-term actions,” said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy. FPL has set a “30 by 30” goal to deploy 30 million solar panels in the state by 2030.