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FPL Partners With Miami-Dade County On New Floating Solar Panels

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GERARD ALBERT III
/
WLRN
An FPL worker walks past the floating solar panels.

FPL and Miami-Dade County have teamed up to launch over 400 floating solar panels into a recreational lake behind Miami International Airport.

  

FPL’s new floating solar field is the first of its kind in the state, but Mayor Carlos Gimenez says there’s room for expansion.

 

“This is going to be a good demonstration project to see if actually this does work, [whether] we can utilize those lakes that are all around Miami-Dade County to make cheap affordable energy.”

 

FPL President Eric Silagy says in addition to a power source, the floating field is a research vessel.

 

“We’ll get high winds here and white caps sometimes, we’ll have fish swimming underneath, we’ll have manatees, we’ll have boaters,” he said. “There’s a lot of things going on that are going to be a great opportunity for us to understand the pros and the cons, the costs and the benefits to a project like this.”

 

 

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Credit GERARD ALBERT III / WLRN
/
WLRN
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez pushes the floating panels into the lake near Miami International Airport.

 

The project is part research, part power source and part promotional.

 

“Imagine how it is going to look from the sky for the 45 million that travel in and out of MIA every year.” Gimenez said.

 

FPL has fought hard to keep solar panels off rooftops and only produces about 2 percent off all of their energy from solar panels. This project is one of many solar fields they have in South Florida, including a new installation at Bayfront Park.

 

Silagy says FPL's goal is to have 30 million solar panels installed by 2030.