Gulf Power to install 600,000 solar panels in Northwest Florida

Published on August 24, 2021 by Chris Galford

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Gulf Power began installing new solar panels at the Cotton Creek Solar Energy Center and Blue Springs Solar Energy Center in Florida’s Escambia and Jackson Counties last week, taking the first steps in a solar expansion that will culminate in 600,000 new panels for the state in that region.

The sites will require around 500 acres each for the panels, to provide nearly 150 MW of capacity. When generation begins early next year, this should have the equivalent effect of powering 30,000 homes and removing 28,000 emissions-producing vehicles from the road annually. The move comes as part of a larger effort by Florida Power & Light, Gulf Power’s parent company.

“With every panel installed, we are ushering in a more sustainable future for Florida by delivering cleaner, lower-cost energy while increasing reliability for our customers,” Mike Spoor, Gulf Power vice president, said. “With each solar farm we build, we are driving down costs that will ultimately lead to lower bills for our customers. We are also reducing our carbon footprint and providing cleaner air for our region, ensuring we keep Northwest Florida beautiful for generations to come, while also benefitting the local economy with the contribution of hundreds of thousands of additional tax dollars.”

The Cotton Creek and Blue Springs solar energy centers will join more than 40 other solar energy centers currently operated by FPL. Cotton Creek will hold a distinction as Gulf Power’s first owned and operated solar energy center in Escambia County.