Major Solar Energy Project Begins Operation in Central Florida
Six Florida cities receiving clean energy from the first two of five solar farms
Two Central Florida solar farms that are part of one of the largest municipal-backed solar projects in the nation are now operational. Harmony Solar Energy Center in St. Cloud and the Taylor Creek Solar Energy Center in east Orange County near Wedgefield are in the Florida Municipal Solar Project, a partnership between the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) and 16 Florida public power utilities.
A total of nearly 600,000 solar panels are installed at the two solar sites, filling about 1,500 acres. Each solar farm can generate 74.5 megawatts, for a combined addition of 149 megawatts of emissions-free energy. That is enough to power 30,000 homes. Six Florida cities will receive power from the two solar sites including Fort Pierce, Jacksonville Beach, Key West, Kissimmee, Ocala and Orlando.
Large-Scale Solar More Economical
“Today is a major step forward in providing affordable, solar energy to our customers,” said FMPA’s Jacob Williams, general manager and CEO of the Orlando-based wholesale power agency. “Through this project, we are adding to our already low emissions generation portfolio and meeting customers’ expectations to provide solar energy in the most economical way.”
The group is building five solar farms totaling 1.5 million solar panels that will generate nearly 375 megawatts by the end of 2023. Florida Renewable Partners is the owner operator of three solar sites in Phase 1, and Origis Energy will develop two solar sites in Phase II.
This is the first large utility-scale solar project for FMPA and its members. The 16 local utilities that will purchase power from the project include: Alachua, Bartow, Beaches Energy Services (Jacksonville Beach), Fort Pierce Utilities Authority, Havana, Homestead, Keys Energy Services (Key West), Kissimmee Utility Authority, Lake Worth Beach, Mount Dora, New Smyrna Beach, Newberry, Ocala, Orlando Utilities Commission, Wauchula and Winter Park. These cities are member-owners of FMPA along with 15 other municipal utilities.