By: Jodie Eldridge, Environmental Services Manager, FPL
Earth Day is every day at FPL
While the 51st Earth Day will be celebrated across the world on April 22, every day is Earth Day at Florida Power & Light Company because protecting the environment is ingrained in our culture and critically important to our customers and the Sunshine State. We believe that being a good steward of the environment means making the right choices.
FPL has been an industry leader in protecting the environment for many decades, and we strive every day to demonstrate that commitment. We are making Florida a leader in clean, emission-free solar energy with 34 solar energy centers in operation throughout the state and we are well on our way to meet our goal of installing 30 million solar panels by 2030 as part of our 30-by-30 initiative. Also, this year we began construction of the world’s largest integrated solar-powered battery which will allow us to retire two aging natural gas units, eliminating more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Partnering for environmental protection
Environmental protection is essential to what we do, but we can’t do it alone. We partner with organizations across Florida, including the Environmental Learning Center. Additionally, through a partnership with Audubon Florida, the majority of FPL solar energy centers are or will be solar stewardship sites. This commitment to stewardship begins during development when we consider the presence of any threatened or endangered species, as well as significant wildlife corridors, wetlands and other ecologically important areas in our design.
After development, we work with Audubon Florida and other local organizations to design and implement site-specific environmental enhancements, like the planting of native trees, shrubs, and grasses, to make sites bird- and pollinator-friendly. The plants used are strategically chosen to increase biodiversity and limit the growth of invasive species. At some sites where specific species have been documented or are known to forage, we have installed nest boxes for waterfowl and cavity birds, and T-perches for burrowing owls and raptors to improve habitat conditions.
Solar sites are wildlife-friendly
To avoid disrupting the delicate Florida ecosystem, solar sites within panther habitats are surrounded by panther-friendly fencing. This special fencing is designed so that panthers and their prey can pass through or over the fence. At our FPL Hammock Solar Energy Center, we conducted a study with nearly two dozen cameras set along the perimeter fence and throughout the site to ensure that animals were able to pass through successfully and safely. Over the course of a year, more than 2,500 animals were spotted on camera – including deer, rabbits, raccoons, bobcats, and coyotes.
As we all celebrate Earth Day this month, know that you can count on FPL for our commitment to continue to bring you clean, reliable, and affordable energy. Our 30-by-30 goal to build more solar energy centers and growing energy storage technology will help FPL deliver on that promise so they can lead Florida to a sustainable energy future.
Sponsor environmental protection
The ELC is proud to have FPL as a sponsor to help us achieve our mission to educate, inspire and empower all people to be stewards of the environment and their own well-being.
Learn more about our different levels of sponsorship to show your business's commitment to environmental protection: https://www.discoverelc.org/sponsorship