Over the next 10 years, the state’s solar energy use will increase by 44 percent, according to the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council. As part of Florida’s total electric generating resources, renewables are expected to increase from the current 2 percent to 8 percent.
Included in the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) annual Ten-Year Site Plan Report, solar generation is anticipated to increase significantly, with the installation of 7,125 megawatts (MW), including 5,551 MW of utility-owned solar and 1,574 MW of contracted solar. As Florida’s population grows, generating capacity is also growing to meet customer demand. Natural gas-fired generating units will continue to comprise a majority of generation additions.
“Utility site plans provide us with a road map to meet Florida’s energy needs over the next 10 years and ensure future reliability,” said PSC Commissioner Gary F. Clark. “Interestingly, this planning cycle differs from others in that renewable capacity is projected to become the second highest installed capacity source in our state.”
“With utilities deploying battery storage options, solar energy will become more useful and its role will continue to grow,” Commissioner Clark added.
Although natural gas continues to dominate in Florida, utilities increasingly are diversifying their mix of resources. The majority of installed renewable capacity is represented by biomass, solar, and municipal solid waste, making up about 73 percent of Florida’s renewables. Other major types of renewable resources include waste heat, landfill gas, and hydroelectric.
Utilities submit Ten-Year Site Plans (TYSP) annually to the Commission. A PSC workshop was held on Monday, October 29, to discuss the plans of the state’s 11 largest electric utilities. Each utility’s plan identifies system upgrades and modifications needed to maintain adequate reliability over the next 10 years.
Florida is served by 57 electric utilities, including 5 investor-owned utilities (IOUs), 35 municipal utilities, and 17 rural electric cooperatives. IOUs represent 78.3 percent of Florida’s net energy load.
For additional information, visit floridapsc.com.