In Florida, the creep of new solar installations has become inescapable, according to local solar entrepreneur Justin Hoysradt.
“Every highway you drive down, every back road you drive across, if you decide to drive to Tallahassee — all you can see for miles and miles is what used to be orange groves that were affected by [citrus] canker…or even cattle land [that] is now covered in solar panels,” said Hoysradt, who owns the West Palm Beach-based company Vinyasun and also serves as president of the board of directors for Florida’s SEIA chapter.
The numbers paint a similar portrait. Last year Florida added nearly 1.3 gigawatts of new large-scale solar. In the next five years, the state is slated to add more than 7.4 gigawatts of utility-scale projects, projected capacity that ranks behind additions in only California and Texas during that time.
Much of that will come from utility Florida Power & Light, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy that serves more than 10 million people in the state. Another NextEra unit, NextEra Energy Resources, is the leading U.S. developer of wind and solar projects.