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Solar Initiatives by Florida Power and Light

Florida Power and Light Desoto Solar Energy ProjectI want to applaud Florida Power and Light for their dedication to working with and implementing alternative energy solutions.  They have three major projects on line at this time: Desoto Solar Energy Center, Martin Solar Energy Center and Space Coast Solar Energy Center.  The three projects combined create 110 megawatts of energy for 4.5 million customers. The Desoto project has more than 90, 500 solar panels with an annual estimated generation of 42,000 megawatt-hours of power.  This project provided 400 jobs and Desoto County received more than $2 million in additional property taxes through 2010.  Photovoltaic technology requires no water.

Florida Power Space Coast Solar Center This is the Space Coast Solar Center located in Brevard County near the Kennedy Space Center Visitor facility.   It is estimated to generate 10 megawatts of energy to serve 1,100 homes.

I would like to point out some things that are not discussed and ask everyone to think about some other alternatives.  The Desoto facility covers approximately 180 acres of good Florida farm land.  While it does not require water to generate the power it does cause runoff as the panels are as impervious as our roads and roofs.  The Space Coast Solar Center covers approximately 40 to 50 acres.

There are many large roofs in all of our cities: shopping centers, schools, industrial buildings, warehouses,  apartment/condo complexes and parking garages.  Why not consider leasing the roof space to install solar panels that could not only supply the building on which they are constructed but neigboring buildings.  These roofs are already contributing runoff so new stormwater ponds should not be required.  No land needs to be purchased. All we need is ingenuity and community cooperation.