KUA Participating in One of the Largest Municipal Solar Projects in the Nation
- May 4, 2018
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Kissimmee Utility Authority today announced its participation in the Florida Municipal Solar Project, a large-scale solar energy project that will enable the utility to provide renewable energy to its customers in the most cost-effective way. Designed to generate 223.5-megawatts of solar energy, the planned project will be one of the largest municipal-backed solar projects in the United States.
The Florida Municipal Solar Project is a joint effort between KUA, 11 additional Florida municipal electric utilities, Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) and NextEra Florida Renewables, LLC. FMPA is serving as the project coordinator. The builder, owner and operator of the solar farms is Florida-based NextEra Florida Renewables, LLC. KUA along with fellow participating municipal electric utilities will purchase power from the project. There are no up-front costs for the participating municipal electric utilities, and KUA will only pay for the power it purchases.
“By working together, Florida municipal electric utilities can collectively build larger, more efficient solar installations that will lower the cost of solar energy so we can provide affordable, emissions-free electricity to our customers,” said KUA president and general manager Jim Welsh. “We are pleased to be a part of this project and are looking forward to the next project milestone.”
KUA will purchase 30 megawatts of power from the project. One megawatt serves approximately 200 typical residential electric customers in Florida.
As part of the project, approximately 900,000 solar panels will be installed on three solar farms expected to be built in Osceola and Orange Counties. Combined, the three solar sites will total approximately 1,200 acres, or the equivalent of 900 football fields filled with solar panels. Panels will be installed on a racking system that utilizes single-axis tracking technology, which means a computer-controlled motor will move the panel to track the sun as it moves from east to west, maximizing the panel’s power output.
After an estimated 18-month permitting process, construction is expected to begin in early 2020, and the project should be operational by June 30, 2020.
The Florida Municipal Solar Project was announced at an event held today at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa. Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez, KUA board members and staff joined representatives from FMPA, NextEra Florida Renewables, LLC, and fellow participating municipal electric utilities at a ceremonial signing of the project agreement.