COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Power and Light Company celebrated the opening of Columbia County’s first solar power plant between I-75 and I-10 on Monday.
The celebration of the new FPL Sunshine Gateway Solar Energy Center was inspired by the farming community in which it was built and featured a farmer’s market with fresh produce from local vendors.
Joining FPL CEO Eric Silagy were Audubon Florida, dozens of students from nearby elementary schools and county commissioners to see the site up close.
FPL officials said more than 60,000 vehicles traveling past the new plant on a daily basis will have stellar views of the solar plant.
The plant generates zero-emissions electricity for FPL customers. Company officials said that’s enough to power 15,000 Florida homes and equivalent to removing approximately 12,000 cars from the road each year.
In addition, during construction of the plant, about 200 jobs were created.
There are 300,000 solar panels on the new plant. Company officials said they plan to install 30 million new solar panels across Florida by 2030, adding that solar expansion plays a significant role in the company’s forward-looking strategy of making smart investments that generate affordable clean energy for customers.