FPL's big solar power project taking shape near Indiantown

PalmBeachPost.com
October 19, 2009
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION : GREEN, SOLAR

Nearly a year ago, Florida Power & Light Co. began construction on a solar-thermal plant in western Martin County [Fla.] that it said would "chase the sun," using mirrors to collect its energy and, in turn, powering thousands of homes.

In Martin County, where the largest and most expensive of Juno Beach-based FPL Group's three solar projects is being built, 192,000 mirrors will be attached to 6,800 aluminum frames on 7,100 steel pylons on 500 acres alongside the Martin Power Plant, west of Indiantown. About 1 million gallons of recyclable fluid, heated to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, will move the sun's energy to the plant.

The $476 million project is expected to open at the end of 2010. About 1,000 workers will be used in its construction, while only about a dozen will be required for its operation, said John Gnecco, FPL's director of project development.

Of about 700 workers at the plant now, 60 percent are from Florida, he said, according to an Oct. 18 PalmBeachPost.com report.

With the first mirrors set to arrive this week, that promise is starting to take shape.

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