NEW YORK Dec 2 FPL Group Inc's Florida Power &
Light Co broke ground on the 75-megawatt Martin solar-thermal
power station in Florida, the company said in a release
The facility, which is expected to enter service in 2010,
will combine solar-thermal with a combined-cycle natural
gas-fired power plant to use less fossil fuel when heat from
the sun is available to produce steam needed to generate
It will consist of about 180,000 mirrors over roughly 500
acres at FPL's existing 3,657 MW Martin natural gas/oil-fired
power station in Martin County. Martin County is about 100
miles north of Miami.
FPL said the solar-thermal station should provide enough
power to serve about 11,000 homes, while preventing the
emissions of more than 2.75 million tons of greenhouse gases,
which is the equivalent of removing more than 18,700 cars from
the road every year for the life of the project, according to
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Martin solar-thermal facility is the largest of three
solar projects FPL is building in Florida for a combined total
of 110 MW. The other two projects are at NASA's Kennedy Space
Center and in Desoto County.
FPL already operates the 310 MW Solar Electric Generating
System in California's Mojave Desert, which is the largest
solar-thermal plant in the world.
FPL, of Juno Beach, Florida, owns and operates about 38,000
MW of generating capacity across the United States, markets
energy commodities, and transmits and distributes electricity
to more than 4.5 million customers in Florida.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Christian Wiessner)