December 19, 2019 Read More →

Florida utility FPL looks to close all coal, oil generation units no later than 2030

The Palm Beach Post:

Big changes are forecast for Palm Beach County’s and Florida’s energy sector during the next decade as an explosion of solar power takes shape.

Florida Power & Light Co.‘s fleet will transition from producing less than 2 percent of its electricity from solar to a projected 20 percent from its solar energy centers. Larger solar battery storage systems will come online and extend the solar facilities’ energy production by a few hours each day.

“It’s going to have a lot of solar, that’s for sure, with 30 million panels by 2030,” FPL CEO and President Eric Silagy told the Palm Beach Post. “I will be disappointed if we don’t do more than that.”

The total of 10,000 megawatts of new solar will make Florida a global leader in solar, Silagy said.

In 2018, close to 75 percent of FPL’s electricity was produced using natural gas. Renewables, such as solar power, accounted for less than 2 percent. Nuclear power provided 23 percent with coal at 2.1 percent, and oil at 0.3 percent. By 2030 or sooner, oil and coal will be phased out. Nuclear and solar power are projected to account for 20 percent each and natural gas for 60 percent.

FPL operates 18 solar plants, and 10 are under construction. Along with several small installations, solar generates 1,250 megawatts. Each new plant will add 74.5 megawatts of capacity, enough to power 15,000 homes. Florida ranks fifth in solar capacity, but it is running in second place among all states for projected capacity installed over the next five years, with nearly 5.5 more gigawatts expected, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The price of solar installations has declined by 32 percent in the last five years.

More: Palm Beach County 2030: More power will come from solar energy

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