Sarasota County and Florida Power & Light (FPL) are working in partnership to develop a photovoltaic solar facility at Rothenbach Park, formerly the Bee Ridge Landfill site, 8350 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota. The project moved closer to reality yesterday, as the Sarasota County Commission approved the signing of a host site lease.

Photovoltaic panels, also known as “solar cells,� convert sunlight into electricity. Because they have no moving parts, they are quiet, and because they require no fuel to operate, they release no hazardous emissions into the environment. This will be FPL’s first solar facility on Florida’s West Coast as part of the company’s Sunshine Energy program. It will also be the largest project of its kind in Florida.

The solar facility, to be installed by FPL’s contractor, PVOne, will generate clean electricity and be the direct result of FPL’s customers’ support of the Sunshine Energy program. Electricity generated at Rothenbach Park – about 250 kilowatts, or enough energy to power 44 homes – will feed into the FPL grid.

Joining us to talk about this project was Gary Patton, Energy Co-ordinator for Sarasota County.

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