Florida Power & Light Company has announced that it has selected two of America’s premiere providers of renewable energy engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services – to build its new universal solar projects, creating up to 1,600 new jobs.
Blattner Energy will be the EPC contractor for four 74.5-megawatt solar power plants targeted for completion at the end of 2017 in Putnam County, Alachua and Putnam Counties, Indian River County and DeSoto County.
Black & Veatch will be the EPC contractor for four 74.5-megawatt solar power plants due for completion by March 1, 2018, in Brevard County, Indian River County, Hendry County and St. Lucie County.
Both EPC contractors are committed to hiring Florida residents when possible. Black & Veatch previously served as the EPC contractor for the three 74.5-megawatt FPL solar plants completed in 2016.
Construction is expected to commence this spring. At the height of construction, each of the sites is expected to employ about 200 people, for a total of approximately 1,600 jobs.
FPL's universal solar energy centers provide zero-emissions power to the grid and are designed to avoid wetlands and minimize any impact on natural surroundings. The panels sit low to the ground, at about six to eight feet high, on racks that fit directly into the soil and do not require any concrete. Once construction is complete, the plants operate without water, fuel or on-site personnel, placing little to no demand on public services.
When completed, the new plants combined are expected to generate enough energy to power approximately 120,000 homes and prevent an average of more than 525,000 tons of carbon emissions annually.
FPL has received widespread support for the investment, which will total approximately $900 million in new solar for Florida.
More than 2.5 million solar panels in total will be used across the eight new solar energy centres.