A commissioning ceremony was held Thursday for the Florida Power & Light Cotton Creek Solar Energy Center in North Escambia.
The first solar power center of its kind in Escambia County is generating up to approximately 75 megawatts. There are approximately 270,000 solar panels at the 358-acre site on Bogia Road in the community of Bogia, just south of McDavid.
“Today we are commissioning a brand new solar facility that is powering over 15,000 homes and covering over 350 acres here in Bogia,” Eric Silagy, FPL President and CEO, told NorthEscambia.com during the event. “We’re really, really proud of this, one of 50 facilities across the state that power FPL homes and businesses.”
“We are only halfway to our original goal of 30 million panels by 2030. Solar is great, in many ways, because you can generate electricity using the sun and without burning anything. fuel,” he said.
The First City Solar Energy Center, the second FPL solar site to be built in North Escambia, off Holland, Cox and Roach roads in McDavid, is in the early stages of the construction process. It will be just over five miles north of the Cotton Creek facility. And, as first reported by NorthEscambia.com in February, FPL intends to build a third solar farm in North Escambia on hundreds of acres in Molino.
The Sparkleberry Solar Power Center is planned on 555 acres south of the end of Pilgrim Trail and is expected to be online by 2024.
“I want the communities where we are located and proud to have us,” Silagy said. “We absolutely work to be good neighbours. We cannot do this without the support of the community. We can’t get the permission we need without the support of the community, and we live here, we raise our families here like everyone else. We want to be good community stewards because we’ve been here a long time.
Top pictured: Eric Silagy, President and CEO of FPL, at a commissioning ceremony for the Cotton Creek Solar Power Ceremony in North Escambia on Thursday. Photo below: A group of Bogia brothers pose in front of some of the site’s 270,000 solar panels. Inset shown: Guests talk as live drone video of the installation is shown on a monitor behind them. Photos from NorthEscambia.com by William Reynolds, click to enlarge.