In May of 2018, FPUA announced their participation in Florida Municipal Power Agency’s (FMPA) solar project, aptly named the Florida Municipal Solar Project (FMSP). FPUA, along with 11 other Florida utilities, have partnered to build five solar farms, installing nearly 1.5 million solar panels by the end of 2023. Phase I of the project includes three solar energy sites and Phase II of the project encompasses two additional sites.
Groundbreaking for Phase I of the Florida Municipal Solar Project was held in November of 2019. Phase I includes a total of 900,000 solar panels at three sites, two sites in Osceola County and a third site in Orange County. Together they will generate 223.5 megawatts of emissions-free energy. FMPA is serving as the project coordinator and the 12 municipal utilities, including FPUA, who are member-owners of FMPA, will purchase power from both Phase I and Phase II of this project. As of this writing, two of the solar sites included in Phase I, the Harmony Solar Energy Center and the Taylor Creek Solar Energy Center, are expected to come online June 30, 2020, and will begin producing zero-emissions energy. The builder, owner and operator of Phase I is Florida Renewable Partners, whose parent company is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from wind and the sun.
In December of 2019, construction began on Phase II of the Florida Municipal Solar Project. This expansion will add two solar sites, one in Alachua County and the second in Putnam County. Expected to come online by the end of 2023, Phase II of the Florida Municipal Solar Project will generate an additional 149 megawatts, for a total generating capacity of 372.5 megawatts of emissions-free energy. That is enough energy to power 75,000 typical Florida homes. When complete, this will be one of the largest municipal-backed solar projects in the United States. The builder, owner and operator of Phase II is Origis Energy, a global clean energy solutions provider with more than 100 projects totaling over 1.6 gigawatts of developed solar and energy storage capacity.
This project provides an opportunity for FPUA customers to use renewable solar power without the large capital outlay that is required for residential and commercial structures. The cost of solar energy from is about one-third the cost of electricity from a typical private, rooftop system. The ground-mounted solar panels have a computer-controlled tracking system that moves the panel to track the sun as it travels from east to west, maximizing power output. The benefits to our community include equal access for all homeowners, renters, and businesses to the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy. In the future, FPUA will be offering ‘solar subscriptions’ which will allow customers the option to fully invest in solar energy.
Solar energy is renewable, zero-emission and cost-effective which protects our environment and keeps our communities clean. Investment in this project brings FPUA’s energy portfolio to approximately 18% renewable energy and we expect to continue to increase in our renewable energy capacity in the coming years. FPUA is excited to be part of the Florida Municipal Solar Project and proud to add solar to our renewable energy portfolio.
Enjoy the following videos that document milestones of the Florida Municipal Solar Project: