Carpenters and pile drivers from the Florida Regional Council of Carpenters (FLCRC) are being tapped by the hundreds to bring to life a comprehensive renewable resource initiative in the works by Florida Power & Light Company (FPL).
FPL is the state’s largest electric utility. Their plan - to dramatically increase the use of solar power using 40 solar farms - launched recently with the start of construction for eight 74.5-megawatt solar power plants.
Building four of those plants are hundreds of professionals from the FLCRC. At the height of construction, each of the sites will employ 250-300 FLCRC members. Two of the sites are in Hawthorne, and one each is in Arcadia and Vero Beach.
“We are performing a multitude of tasks in both pile driving and carpentry, in all facets of the project,” said FLCRC’s Executive Secretary-Treasurer James Banks. “This work will take us through 2017 and into 2018 for hundreds of members who will log thousands of work hours.”
These initial eight solar farms will collectively create about 600 megawatts power, which is enough to service 120,000 homes at peak usage times. Using solar power will save customers millions in electrical fees over the lifetime of each farm, according to the FPL web site. FPL’s universal solar energy centers provide zero-emissions power to the grid and are designed to avoid wetlands and minimize any impact on natural surroundings. The panels sit low to the ground, at about 6 to 8 feet high, on racks that fit directly into the soil and do not require any concrete.