Florida Power & Light Company has announced that it has created the world’s first hybrid solar energy center. The plant is called the FPL Martin Next Generation Solar Facility. The plant sits on 500 acres in Western Martin County in Florida and has a field of over 190,000 solar thermal mirrors.
All of those mirrors are combined with an existing combined-cycle natural gas power plant. The solar panels use tech that allows them to track the sun during the day to harness the free solar energy and reduce the need for the power plant to burn fossil fuels.
The plant creates 75-megawatts of power and gets enough power from the sun to run 11,000 homes annually. FPL expects the solar energy to reduce the fossil fuel consumption by about 41 billion cubic feet of natural gas and to save more than 600,000 barrels of oil. The reduction in burned fossil fuels will prevent the release of about 2.75 million tons of greenhouse case and save the power customers $178 million in fuel costs over the 30-year life of the new plant.