Right now, there are already six solar energy centers producing solar power in Southwest Florida.
“Natural energy centers make great neighbors especially in agricultural communities because the solar centers are very low-impact,” Alys Daly with Florida Power & Light said.
One already exists in Hendry County.
“We also look to build around locations where we have existing electrical infrastructure,” Daly said. “That further keeps the cost down for our customers.”
The Hendry County Board of Commissioners recently approved a proposal by Florida Power & Light to build a solar energy center in Hendry County.
But, it will be a while before anything happens. They’re still waiting on approval from several state agencies.
“After they receive the zoning and complete plan approval, they have to come in for a site development plan review,” Hendry County Planning & Community Development Director Margaret Emvlidge said. “Then they have to get building permits.”
Florida has 14 solar energy centers total. Each one generates around 74.5 megawatts.
“That translates into about 15,000 homes could be powered by solar,” Daly said. “All of our investments are paid for by FPL customers.”
Will it save money? Probably. But it’s hard to say if you will notice a change in your electric bill.
“I can’t tell you whether there will be a net increase or decrease to a customer’s bill based on, for example, the introduction of a new solar energy center,” Daly said. “But what I can tell you, is that over the lifetime of those solar energy centers, they are expected to generate more than $100 million in total savings for our customers.”