The Sunshine State is embracing solar energy with the launch of the world’s first hybrid solar energy plant — the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center. Situated in Martin County, the plant utilizes 190,000 solar thermal mirrors which track and harness the sun’s energy via hydraulic motors. The hybrid plant works in conjunction with an existing natural gas power plant — all the energy collected is converted into electricity, which is then used to offset the usage of natural gas.

An epic project, the 75 megawatt facility is spread over 500 acres of FPL-owned land, and powers 11,000 Florida homes. It has also created over 1,000 jobs and, according to the plant’s own press release, will reduce fossil fuel consumption by approximately 41 billion cubic feet of natural gas and more than 600,000 barrels of oil. This will cut more than 2.75 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and save FPL customers approximately $178 million in fuel costs over the facility’s estimated 30-year lifetime.

The Martin Energy Center is the world’s first plant to combine solar energy with natural gas. Other plants often use dual energy sources, but this is normally done by burning oil at times of low sunlight.


Via Palm Beach Post