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Florida Public Service Commission approves enough utility-scale solar to power 1 million homes

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 26th October

PRNewsfoto/Florida Power & Light Company

The Florida Public Service Commission today unanimously approved Florida Power & Light Company’s comprehensive, four-year rate settlement agreement developed jointly with the Florida Office of Public Counsel — the state’s consumer advocate — as well as the Florida Retail Federation, the Florida Industrial Power Users Group and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

The approved agreement, which was also signed by Vote Solar, The CLEO Institute and Federal Executive Agencies, will phase in new rates starting in 2022 and supports continued long-term investments in infrastructure, clean energy and innovative technology — including what FPL says is the largest solar buildout in the United States. FPL projects typical residential customer bills will remain well below the national average through the end of 2025.

“Backed by multiple consumer and environmental groups, this comprehensive agreement benefits all 5.6 million FPL customers and our state by keeping bills low and accelerating investments in clean energy,” said FPL president and CEO Eric Silagy. “Florida is a rapidly growing state on the front lines of climate change and our customers deserve bold, decisive, long-term actions as we continue building a more resilient and sustainable energy future all of us can depend on, including future generations. This agreement paves the way for FPL to continue delivering America’s best energy value — electricity that’s not just clean and reliable, but also affordable.”

FPL’s new four-year rate plan directly supports the company’s groundbreaking “30-by-30” plan to install 30 million solar panels in Florida by 2030, which remains ahead of schedule and under budget. In doing so, the agreement will also expand the company’s FPL SolarTogether program — more than doubling what’s already the largest community solar program in the country across an FPL service area that spans from Miami to Pensacola.

In all, the approved settlement agreement supports the development of 16 million solar panels across more than 50 new sites — enough to power approximately 1 million homes with energy from the sun.

In addition to solar energy, the approved agreement supports FPL’s green hydrogen pilot project in Okeechobee County, an innovative technology that could one day unlock 100% carbon-free electricity that’s available 24 hours a day, as well as the FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center, the world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery system that’s projected to begin serving customers later this year. The agreement also supports investments in resilient infrastructure projects as FPL continues building a stronger and smarter energy grid to deliver reliable service in good weather and bad.

Other components of the approved agreement:

Promote and support expansion of electric vehicle infrastructure throughout FPL’s service area. Support the early closing of a coal unit located in Georgia, in which FPL has a partial interest. Support FPL’s ongoing efforts to develop and deploy cutting-edge smart grid technology. Continue to support FPL’s ability to respond to hurricanes, tropical storms and other natural disasters.

News item from Florida Power & Light