FPL to construct eight new solar plants by early 2018
FPL – Florida Power & Light – now has eight new solar power plants under construction, due to be available to customers by early next year.
This ambitious venture, one of the largest ever solar power expansions in the eastern US, includes the creation and installation of over 2.5 million solar panels and will ensure 600 megawatts of energy capacity. The company is planning to build these as cost-effectively as possible, ensuring savings for its customers. FPL predicts that the eight new plants will generate millions of dollars worth of net lifetime savings for consumers.
"FPL is living proof that it's possible to generate cleaner energy and deliver outstanding service while keeping customers' electric bills among the lowest in the nation," said Eric Silagy, FPL's President and CEO. "We are proud to be advancing affordable clean energy infrastructure in Florida in close partnership with respected environmental advocates, community leaders and our customers. Together, we are bringing the benefits of solar energy to more Floridians faster and more affordably than ever before."
Each plant will generate around 74.5 megawatts of zero-emissions energy in bright sunlight, feeding enough energy to FPL’s grid to potentially fuel 120,000 homes. Around 500 people are currently working on construction, and it is expected that this number will swell to 1,500 during peak activity.
"FPL continues to transform the energy landscape of the state and nation, and we are honored that North Florida is playing an important role," said Brian Bergen, Vice President of Economic Development for the Putman County Chamber of Commerce. "These new solar power plants are about more than just affordable clean energy. They're also delivering economic benefits right here, right now."
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.