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First Hybrid Solar Facility in the World


Alt Dot Energy
December 3, 2008


Florida Power & Light began work on what may be the first hybrid solar facility
in the world to combine a solar-thermal field with a combined-cycle natural gas power plant.

The plan consists of 180,000 mirrors over 500 acres. The 75-megawatt Martin Next
Generation Solar Energy Center is situated on the Atlantic coast just north of
Palm Beach County. The Solar Energy Center will use less fossil fuel when heat
from the sun is available to help produce the steam needed to generate
electricity. It also matches solar power with an existing combined-cycle natural
gas plant, so that when the sun is not shining, the natural gas can take over
the work of powering the turbines.

Florida’s Governor Charlie Crist, spoke at the ground-breaking. “Florida’s
future growth and economic strength depends on how we address climate change,
and we know we can reduce greenhouse gases by using fewer fossil fuels and more
natural energy sources like solar… This solar facility is a significant step in that direction.”

This is the first of three FPL solar facilities state regulators have approved
in Florida, which, according to the utility, will make the state the
second-largest solar energy producer in the country. In addition to the Martin
facility, FPL will also build two other solar projects in Florida. One will be
at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and the other in Desoto County. These plants will
add 35 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity to the state. Combined, these
projects help strengthen FPL Group’s position as the nation’s clean energy leader.

 

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