Last week, two of Florida’s investor owned utilities announced plans to increase solar capacity in the state. Gulf Power has proposed a joint effort with developer HelioSage and the United States Navy and Air Force to build the largest network of solar power plants in Florida, to be located at Eglin Air Force Base (Ft. Walton Beach), Holley Field (Navarre) and Saufley Field (Pensacola). These plants would produce a total of 120 megawatts, and help meet the U.S. Department of Defense’s goal of achieving 25% renewable energy by 2025. If approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC), construction would begin in February of 2016.
Meanwhile, Florida Power & Light, the state’s largest investor owned utility, announced plans to double its solar capacity by building three new solar plants in Southwest Florida. These plants, to be located in DeSoto , Charlotte and Manatee Counties, are expected to generate 225 megawatts – enough to supply electricity to 42,000 homes. Because each of these plants would generate less than 75 megawatts, PSC approval is not required, although it would review any costs passed on to customers.