A Melbourne energy company announced plans to build its 400-megawatt solar panel farm in Gadsden County in a venture that will include Tallahassee area colleges and universities.
National Solar Power, which formed a year ago, plans to build 20 solar panel fields on 200 acres apiece over five years. The first 200-acre solar panel field would go online by the end of 2012.
The $1.5 billion project is expected to generate 400 jobs during the construction phase. The solar farms will maintain 120 permanent positions with average salaries of about $40,000 a year.
The 400-megawatt farm will provide enough power for 32,000 homes and will be the largest solar panel operation in the southeastern United States.
The company said it plans soon to announce a "meaningful" solar panel project for Hardee County.
Last month, the company announced that it would build the array in Florida but did not specify which county.