Florida, one of the states with the greatest solar energy potential has recently started the world’s first hybrid solar energy plant. Called Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center, the Martin County-based plant, is equipped with about 190,000 solar thermal mirrors which track and harness the sun’s power via hydraulic motors.
“We are taking the sun’s rays and concentrating them 80 times,” said John Gnecco, Juno Beach-based FPL’s director of project development at the solar field this week.
The solar plant is also connected to an existing combined-cycle natural gas power plant. The energy obtained is transformed into clean electricity which is enough to power 11,000 homes. The 75 megawatt facility is spread over 500 acres of FPL-owned land and has yet created over 1,000 green jobs.
According to FPL’s own press release, the solar power plant will save up 600,000 barrels of oil and reduce fossil fuel consumption by approximately 41 billion cubic feet. This way, about 2.75 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced over the next 30 years. The Martin Energy Center is the first plant in the world that combines natural gas with solar energy.