Posts Tagged ‘Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center’

23 June

Florida Solar


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Lake Butler Chain (photo by Susan Sun Nunamaker, presented at:

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Below, is a re-post from a sister publication, Windermere Sun:

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

With the Florida Sun, low cost of solar and improved battery technology, even without pro-solar policies such as renewable portfolio standard or power purchase agreements, Florida currently ranks 12th for cumulative solar capacity installed and is expected to continue to advance its position in light of the dramatic drop in cost of solar and improved battery technology.

Below are data gathered from FLSEIA (Florida Solar Energy Industries Association), on Florida Solar Industry:

  • Solar Installed: 725.1 MW (404.7 MW in 2016)
  • State Homes Powered by Solar: 79,000
  • Percentage of State’s Electricity From Solar: 0.31% (that % keeps increasing)
  • Solar Jobs and Ranking: 8,260 (5th in 2016)
  • Solar Companies in State: 492 companies total; 69 manufacturers, 261 installers/developers, 153 others
  • Total Solar Investment in State: $1,459.85 million ($523.64 million in 2016)
  • Price Declines: 64% over the last 5 years
  • Growth Projections and Ranking: 2,559 MW over next 5 years

Florida Annual Solar Installations between 2010-2017 (with forecast into 2021) (credit: FLSEIA)

For more solar data, click HERE.

Some Notable Solar Installations in Florida, below:

  • Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center: It is the solar parabolic-trough component of an integrated solar combined cycle 1150 MW plant, in western Martin County, Florida, just north of Indiantown, built by Florida Power & Light Company in 2010, with enough electricity to power 8,216 homes.
  • Several large retailers in Florida have gone solar: 6th Street, Ace Hardware, Bronson and AMJ, Inc., General Growth Properties had installed one of the largest solar installations with 1 MW of solar capacity at their Altamonte Springs location.
  • TIA Solar in Tampa also installed 1 MW of solar capacity in 2016, among the largest solar installations in Florida, with capacity to power more than 175 homes.

Florida State Solar Policy Resources, below:

  • Florida Public Service Commission-(FPSC) regulates investor-owned electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater utilities. In the telecommunications industry, the FPSC facilitates competitive markets, has authority over intercarrier disputes, and oversees pay telephones, the federal Lifeline Assistance Program and Telecommunications Relay Service. The Florida Public Service Commission consists of five members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Commissioners serve four-year terms. One commissioner is a designated Chairman, elected by the Commission for a two-year term.The commissioners are Chairman Julie I. Brown, Ronald A. Brisé, Art Graham, Jimmy Patronis, and Donald Polmann. In essence, FPSC learn about the governing body that regulates electricity rates and services of Florida Public Utilities.
  • Florida State Legislature-It is the two houses that act as the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida. The Florida Constitution states that “The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a legislature of the State of Florida,” composed of a Senate and House of Representatives. The legislature is seated at the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee. Both chambers have been under Republican control since 1996. The Legislature is composed of 160 state legislators (120 in the House and 40 in the Senate). Members are term-limited to eight consecutive years; however, there is no limit on the total number of terms (after sitting out two years, a member may run again). The state legislature meets beginning in March for a period not to exceed 60 calendar days. Special sessions are called as needed. In essence, FSL track pending legislation affecting solar energy, locate and contact individual legislators, and stay up to date on current legislative issues in Florida.
  • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services-FDACS is an executive department of the government of Florida.The Commissioner of Agriculture (directly elected by voters statewide for a four-year term, and a member of the Florida Cabinet) is the head of the department. The current commissioner is Adam Putnam. In essence, it finds/provides a wide range of information on state government energy programs, policy, projects, energy-saving strategies and energy-related statistics.
  • Florida Energy System Consortium-The Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC) was created by the Florida State government to promote collaboration among the energy experts at its 12 supported universities to share energy-related expertise. The consortium assists the state in the development and implementation of an environmentally compatible, sustainable, and efficient energy strategic plan. The Consortium was charged to ‘perform research and development on innovative energy systems that lead to alternative energy strategies, improved energy efficiencies, and expanded economic development for the state‘. The legislature appropriated funding for research at five of the universities as well as support for education, outreach, and technology commercialization. The Consortium reports to and provides guidance on an as needed basis to the Florida Legislature, Executive Office of the Governor, and the Florida’s Office of Energy housed in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In essence, it assists the state in development and implementation of an environmentally compatible, sustainable, and efficient energy strategic plan.
  • DSIRE Incentives Database Florida-It is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility,and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. DSIRE was established in 1995 and funded by the US Department of Energy and is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. It is essentially a public clearninghouse for specific solar energy incentives in Florida and across the United States.
  • U.S. Energy Information Administration-Florida State Profile– (EIA) is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating energy information to promote sound policy-making, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. EIA programs cover data on coal, petroleum, natural gas, electric, renewable and nuclear energy. EIA is part of the U.S. Department of Energy. It explores official energy statistics, including data on electricity supply and demand from the U.S. government
  • EnergySage Solar Data Explorer-Florida-It reviews the costs and benefits of installing solar panels in Florida, based on real price data from solar quotes.

More posts on solar topics will be coming in our future posts at Windermere Sun.

Photographed, gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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~have a bright and sunny day~

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13 July

Answer For The Future Is In Hybrid Marriage-Solar And Fossil Fuel


If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at Thank you.

Truly, we should all think positively about the alternative future, for human imagination is boundless.  We need to look no further than the state of Florida, where the first hybrid natural gas solar power plant and the world’s second-largest solar plant ( after the 310-megawatt Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert in CA, also owned by FPL, built in 1980s) just opened this year.  One of the nation’s biggest utilities, FPL (Florida Power & Light) Company, is running an experiment in the future of renewable power.  The Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center is a hybrid 75-megawatt (MW) (enough to sustain 11,000 homes) parabolic trough solar energy plant

Example of Solar Troughs Farm

, located on the eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee (just north of Indiantown, FL), is built by FPL.  The solar plant is a component of the 3,705 MW Martin County Power Plant, which is the single largest fossil fuel burning power plant in the United States.   The Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center has an array of about 190,000-mirror parabolic troughs on approximately 5oo acres of the Martin County Plant.


These solar collectors (with parabolic mirrors) track the sun throughout the day,  capturing as much solar energy as possible and then converting  solar energy into electrical energy and  feed heat to the existing steam plant, generating electricity at a rate of 155,000 MW-h per year (average of 18 MW).  This is the first natural gas building to be retrofitted with solar thermal capabilities in such an industrial scale.  The real novelty of this project lies in the fact that the solar array is being grafted onto the back of the nation’s largest fossil-fuel power plant, fired by natural gas.  It is an experiment in whether conventional power generation can be married with renewable power so to lower the costs and  spare the environment.  In addition to reducing the consumption of natural gas and carbon dioxide emissions, this marriage will also serve as a real-life test on how to reduce the cost of solar power (compared with a stand-alone solar facility) by not having to build a new steam turbine or new high-power transmission lines. The construction of the plant began in 2008 and was completed by the end of 2010.  FPL expects the $476  million solar plant to reduce the combined-cycle power plant’s natural gas consumption by 1.3  billion cubic feet (37 billion cubic meter )per year. Over the 30-year life of the project, this is expected to save $178 million in fuel cost (South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Jan. 28, 2011, Julie Patel) and reduce carbon emissions by 2.75 million tons (The New York Times, Mar. 4, 2010, Jad Mouawad).

Mark Brownstein, an energy and grid specialist at the Environmental Defense Fund, praised FPL’s innovative thinking. “When we talk about getting to a low-carbon, clean-energy economy,” he said, “we know there is not going to be a single technology that is going to transform the industry.”  Currently, 29 states require utilities to increase the amount of power produced from renewable energy, which includes solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass. Last year, Congress considered a federal mandate for 25 percent of renewable power by 2025 as part of its energy and climate legislation. (The bill has since stalled.)  While the use of renewable energy is growing, its share of world’s energy use/electrical generation remains small (recall World Energy Usage Chart from the Sun Is The Future post on April 3, 2011,

World Energy Usage Chart (Sun Is The Future, April 3, 2011)

).  Part of the challenge in increasing the share of renewable energy sources is to make up for their variable nature (such as at night, no sun, or when the wind does not blow).  Because electricity cannot be stored easily and utilities must always produce enough power to meet electric demand at any time,  hybrid plants could provide part of the answer.  Adding renewable power to existing fossil fuel plants that operate around the clock, utilities could have readily available power that could be fired up whenever the wind or solar resource drops off.  As long as we remain hopeful and creative, we earthlings will be able to face any challenge that lies ahead in our path toward  renewable and solar energy future.

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,


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