November 30, 2011 / 7:41 PM / 8 years ago

National Solar to build 200 MW solar energy farm in Florida

Nov 30 (Reuters) - National Solar Power said it will spend $700 million to develop a 200-megawatt solar farm in Florida’s Hardee County, making it the company’s second project in the state that has one of the highest per-capita electricity demand in the country.

The utility-scale solar power provider plans to build 10 200-acre farms, each costing $70 million. Its first Florida project is in the Gadsden County.

“Florida is the new frontier when it comes to solar farm development,” Chief Executive James Scrivener said in a statement.

The first phase of the Hardee project is expected to be up and running within 6-7 months of breaking ground, once appropriate local and state permitting process is completed.

The project is expected to create 200 jobs during the five-year construction phase and up to 50 permanent operations jobs, the company said.

National Solar said it was negotiating with several large financial institutions and private equity investors to provide financing for the project.

It has already entered into an agreement with Progress Energy’s Florida arm to sell power from the Hardee project, and is in discussions with other potential customers.

National Solar, the 3-year-old company that has power supply agreements for more than 3,000 megawatts in the Southeastern United States, said it has formed a company named Green Infrastructure Partners LLC to help fund renewable energy projects.

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