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Sunday, March 06, 2011

First Ever US Hybrid Solar Energy Center

Here is something I will be watching CLOSELY.

Hey folks,

This SOUNDS like good news. I'm excited about it. I really am. I will be watching this one closely. Lets see what happens long term. Can we build on this? What can this accomplish in the future? ETC. This is actually right up the Street from me. FPL Unveils World's First Hybrid Solar Energy Center
INDIANTOWN, Fla., March 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company, along with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, local public officials, construction workers, engineers, environmental experts and business leaders, today celebrated the first hybrid solar power plant in the world – FPL's Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center.

Spanning approximately 500 acres in western Martin County, Fla., this one-of-a-kind hybrid facility connects a field of more than 190,000 solar thermal mirrors with an existing combined-cycle natural gas power plant. Innovative technology enables the mirrors to track the sun over the course of a day to harness free fuel from the sun's rays to create electricity and directly offset the use of fossil fuels.

"From job creation to cleaner air to energy security, this project demonstrates the many benefits of investing in large-scale renewable energy, especially in Florida," said FPL President and CEO Armando J. Olivera. "Leadership by the Florida Legislature in 2008 made this project and its myriad benefits possible. We're hopeful that today's leaders will take action to enable more cost-effective investments like this so we can continue taking dramatic steps forward to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and get more Floridians back to work quickly."

Construction of FPL's Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center over the past two years provided more than 1,000 direct jobs, the majority of which were filled by Floridians. In addition, the project utilized more than 150 businesses from across the state, helping support the employment of thousands of additional Floridians during difficult economic times.
Now of course one can easily argue the numbers and how many REAL, LONG TERM Jobs were created with this Project, but I won't. I DO actually see this as a good thing and I am MORE than curious on how this will evolve long term.
FPL's 75-megawatt Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center is designed to harness free fuel from the sun's rays to power about 11,000 homes. This technology is expected to reduce fossil fuel consumption by approximately 41 billion cubic feet of natural gas and more than 600,000 barrels of oil – which would prevent the release of more than 2.75 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and save FPL customers approximately $178 million in fuel costs over the facility's estimated 30-year lifetime.
{Sigh} I'll even leave out the fact that this only effects 11 Thousand Homes, out of a Population of around 18,537,969 at a cost of about $340 Million dollars. So that's about $30,900 a home.
"Diversifying our state's energy sources is not only good energy policy, it can be good for the economy as well. This project demonstrated that when Florida facilitates significant private investment, we can plan for our future and get Floridians back to work at the same time," said Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos.

"Energy security is critical to our national security. FPL's new hybrid solar facility is an important piece of an all-of-the-above energy solution, and I'm glad to see our state is once again leading the way toward a more secure energy future for Florida and America," said U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16).

FPL's Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center was officially declared in-service in November 2010 and is the third of three large-scale solar projects that the company has completed over the past two years, creating more than 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. These three plants combined are now delivering a total of 110 megawatts of clean, solar energy to Floridians.

"Today we are creating Florida's future as the clean energy state. By investing in emissions-free solar power, FPL is creating a brighter future and reducing the risk to our citizens from the environmental and economic risks of fossil fuels," said Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon of Florida.

In addition, the plant is expected to generate more than $5 million in new local tax revenue in its first full year of operation, enabling Martin County to devote considerable resources toward long-term economic development.

"The positive impact this project has had on our community and will continue to have on Martin County in the coming decades is extraordinary," said Ed Ciampi, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. "This innovative project showcases Martin County and Florida to the world as a dynamic leader in solar energy, and we couldn't be more proud."

FPL has already secured and permitted sites where more than 500 megawatts of new solar power could be built and is ready to launch several projects right away that would employ thousands of Floridians during construction, support local businesses and benefit customers.

"With a strong commitment from the state, large-scale renewable energy projects could attract new research and development, manufacturing and more to Florida, laying the foundation for a lasting industry to support the state's long-term economic growth," Olivera said.

Florida Power & Light Company

Florida Power & Light Company is the largest electric utility in Florida and one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the United States. FPL serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is a leading employer in the state with approximately 10,000 employees. The company consistently outperforms national averages for service reliability while customer bills are below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit

SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company
OK. I know it sounds like I'm throwing a bunch of cold water on this. I'm really not. I'm going to forget the FACTS about this, and go with feelings. I hope it works in the long term. Start small. A Town. In this case, Solar, and 11000 Homes. If in the long run this works out, then go Bigger. Say a City. Businesses included. If this goes well, and all the bugs get out, then go Bigger, say Statewide.

However, my Brain tells me that even though this may work in Florida, it will not in Washington. They do not have enough Sunshine there. So they will have to come up with something else. So Solar will NEVER be Universal. What works here, may not work elsewhere. FPL spent $688 Million the these three Projects. like I said, for this one, a cost of about $30,900 a home. Where is that money coming from? Of whom are they going to pass the cost onto? What will Seattle do? Will it work? We should know in about 5 years. So what are we going to do in the meantime? What about the other around 18,526,969?

This is a good start. Lets see what happens. But in the meantime, we need to Drill Here. We need to Drill Now. We need to use our OWN resources. I'm glad that FPL and Florida are trying this EXPERIMENT into the Energy of the Future. But lets deal in REALITY at the same time.

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