Duke Energy Building New Florida Solar Farms


For those of you who are watching the Florida solar industry, prepare for some exciting times ahead! Duke Energy Florida (DEF), part of Duke Energy and one of the biggest electric utility companies in the state, made an announcement that will make any fan of renewable energy happy.

The company has decided that renewable energy like solar power is the best way for the company to move forward and provide electricity to their customers. So they’re going to invest an estimated $1 billion dollars into either construction, or buying a total of 700 Florida solar farms by 2022. And they’re planning to add an additional 1,500 MW of solar generation through 2028 on top of that.

To help facilitate this, DEF is building two new Florida solar farms during the next year. One solar farm will be built in Hamilton County, and the other will be built in Columbia County. Both solar farms will generate 74.9 MW, and will consist of approximately 235,000 solar panels that will track the sun. Together, the electricity that they generate will be enough to power more than 46,000 homes at peak production. Both the Twin Rivers Solar Power Plant (in Hamilton County) and the Santa Fe Solar Power Plant (in Columbia County) are expected to be up and operating by late 2020, and will each create 200 to 300 temporary jobs.

Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida state president said, “Our two newest solar power plants in Hamilton and Columbia counties are expected to eliminate approximately 600 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions in Florida each year upon commercial operation. That’s the equivalent of taking about 56,000 passenger cars off the road each year. We are committed to environmental stewardship and more fuel diversity for our Florida customers’ benefit.”

Columbia County economic development director Glenn Hunter was very pleased as well, saying, “Columbia County is excited to partner with Duke Energy on this solar project that is not only promoting green energy but also bringing jobs and capital investment into our community. Additionally, Duke Energy’s investment into the hundreds of acres of rural farmland in Columbia County is significant to preserve the integrity of our land and development as we move into the future.”

The fact that such a big utility company is installing Florida solar panels like this is a fantastic sign for fans of clean energy. The Sunshine State is growing brighter every day thanks to the large amounts of residential solar panels being installed. And clearly, commercial solar energy systems are becoming just as popular. Good on Duke Energy for installing these Florida solar farms. They’re setting a great example not only for their customers, but to other large utility companies in the area as well.

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