Florida Power & Light broke ground Tuesday on a solar-natural gas hybrid plant that, when completed in 2010, will make Florida the second-largest solar energy producing state in the United States.
The plant will be the world's first hybrid solar plant, and the first utility-scale solar facility in Florida, the company said.
The 75-megawatt Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center will use a collection of 180,000 mirrors spread over 500 acres to harness the sun's heat to create the steam needed to turn electric turbines. Natural gas will be used to supplement the solar energy, and when the sun isn't shining.
"Florida's future growth and economic strength depends on how we address climate change, and we know we can reduce greenhouse gases by using fewer fossil fuels and more natural energy sources like solar," said Gov. Charlie Crist. "This solar facility is a significant step in that direction."