Duke installs its one-millionth solar panel in Florida


Duke Energy Florida has announced the installation of its one-millionth solar panel in the state at the company’s Columbia Solar Power Plant in Fort White.

Duke Energy Florida plans to install a significant amount of additional solar energy over the next 10 years across the state.

“This is an exciting announcement as we increasingly deliver cleaner, more reliable energy to our customers,” said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida state president. “By mid-year, our solar plants are expected to eliminate nearly 1.5 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year. That’s the equivalent of taking 130,000 passenger cars off Florida roads.”

The utility says it will have a total of almost 515MW of solar under construction or operating by mid-2020.

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Duke Energy Florida is investing an estimated $1 billion to construct or acquire a total of 700 MW of solar power facilities from 2018 through 2022 in Florida.

Duke is projecting to more than double its solar investments, and plans to potentially install more than 1,500 MW of solar generation by 2028.

Here is a look at the solar power plants across Florida that helped the company reach its one-millionth solar panel installation:

  • In 2016, Duke Energy completed a 5-MW solar power plant that serves the Reedy Creek Improvement District and its customers, like the Walt Disney World Resort. It is a 22-acre solar farm in the shape of a not-so-hidden Mickey in Orlando, Orange County, with 48,000 solar panels. Click here for video
  • Also in 2016, Duke Energy Florida opened two universal solar power plants. A 3.8-MW facility in Kenansville, Osceola County, (Click here for video) with 15,000 solar panels and a 5.1-MW facility in Perry, Taylor County, with 22,000 solar panels.
  • In 2017, Duke Energy Florida opened a solar power plant in Suwannee County with 8.8 MW and 44,000 panels in Live Oak, Suwannee County. Click here for video
  • The 74.9-MW Hamilton Solar Power Plant has 300,000 solar panels and came online in December 2018. It is located in Jasper, Hamilton County. Click here for video
  • The 45-MW Lake Placid Solar Power Plant in Highlands County began serving customers Dec. 9, 2019, with 180,000 solar panels. Click here for video
  • The Trenton Solar Power Plant in Gilchrist County began serving customers Dec. 18, 2019. The facility is 74.9 MW and has 280,000 solar panels. Click here for video
  • The one-millionth panel was installed at the 74.9-MW Columbia Solar Power Plant, which includes approximately 300,000 solar panels and is anticipated to begin servicing customers in March 2020.

Additional solar power plants are underway in Florida.

The 74.5 MW DeBary Solar Power Plant is under construction in Volusia County and will have  300,000 solar panels, with universal service to the power grid in the second quarter of 2020.  

The Twin Rivers Solar Power Plant will be built on 460 acres in Hamilton County. Once operational, the 74.9-MW facility will consist of approximately 235,000 tracking solar panels that track the movement of the sun and are capable of producing enough electricity to power approximately 23,000 homes at peak production.

The Santa Fe Solar Power Plant will be built on approximately 600 acres in Columbia County. The 74.9-MW plant will consist of approximately 235,000 tracking solar panels, which will produce enough carbon-free energy to power more than 23,000 average homes at peak production.