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FPL Selects Rothenbach Park for First Sunshine Energy(R) Solar Location; Sarasota Location Will Be Largest Solar Facility in Florida; Park is Also Site of Closed Bee Ridge Landfill.

JUNO BEACH, Fla. -- Florida Power & Light Company announced today that through its Sunshine Energy(R) program it has selected Rothenbach Park in Sarasota as the site for its first solar array. The park is located on Bee Ridge Road, east of Interstate 75 and is owned by Sarasota County. Today, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners approved the location for the site pending final permitting.

The 250-kilowatt (kW) solar array will be known as the FPL Solar Array at Rothenbach Park. The new solar facility will be the largest solar array in Florida and one of the largest in the southeast. The solar project is part of FPL's commitment to develop new solar facilities as a result of customer participation in the Sunshine Energy program. The facility at Rothenbach Park is the first solar project to be announced as a result of the Sunshine Energy program.

"We sought a location that had ground site large enough for 250 kilowatts of photovoltaic panels," said Jeff Bartel, vice president of external affairs for FPL. "We relied on input from the county to choose this location. Sarasota County officials have a strong environmental commitment and we are excited about the prospect of utilizing a closed landfill for a solar facility."

"We are pleased that FPL selected Rothenbach Park as the location to build its first solar array on the west coast as a result of the Sunshine Energy program," said Jodi John, manager of Sustainable Sarasota. "We are proud to do our part for the environment and contribute to advancing an alternative energy source. We encourage everyone to visit the park and see the benefits of a renewable energy source first hand."

Environmental Impact

The 250-kW solar facility will prevent over 680,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the air each year. That is equivalent to not driving nearly 761,000 miles annually or not making the 460 mile round-trip from Sarasota to Miami about 1,600 times or the 2,600 mile round-trip from Sarasota to New York about 290 times. Construction on the new solar facility is scheduled to begin this summer.

Rothenbach Park is also the location of the closed Bee Ridge Landfill. The solar array will be mounted ground level and visible from the road. The solar facility will be built with 1,200 photovoltaic solar panels and will be more than 28,000 square feet, which is about half the size of a football field. Each panel will be about 31 inches wide and 63 inches long.

Sunshine Energy

Sunshine Energy is a voluntary green power program offered as a choice for FPL residential customers who want to support cleaner, renewable electric generation. FPL does not profit from this program in any way. An important element of the Sunshine Energy program is FPL's commitment to build renewable facilities in the state of Florida. The company pledges to develop solar as customers sign up for the program. FPL's Sunshine Energy program was recently ranked No. 4 in the country for sales volume and No. 6 for total customer participation by the Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Additionally, the program was recognized by the U.S. EPA and DOE as a 2005 Green Power Leadership Award Recipient.

Program Reaches Record Enrollment - Nearly 24,000 Customers

FPL's Sunshine Energy program has reached a new customer milestone: Nearly 24,000 participants have voluntarily signed up for Sunshine Energy since FPL launched the renewable energy program two years ago.

When customers choose FPL's Sunshine Energy program they pay only $9.75 more each month as part of their electric bill to ensure 1,000 kilowatt hours of cleaner electricity is produced by generators serving Florida and other states nationwide. Customers will support cleaner electricity generated from bio-energy, wind and solar. The monthly charge appears on FPL electric bills.

To Sign Up

There are three easy ways for customers to enroll in the Sunshine Energy program: It takes less than 10 minutes.

1) By Phone -- by calling FPL at 1.888.FPL-GREEN (1.888.375.4733)

2) BY Web -- FPL's Sunshine Energy program website,

3) By Mail -- When you receive newsletters or letters from FPL

About FPL

Florida Power & Light Company is the principal subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE:FPL), nationally known as a high quality, efficient and customer-driven organization focused on energy-related products and services. With annual revenues of more than $11 billion and a growing presence in 26 states, FPL Group is widely recognized as one of the country's premier power companies. Florida Power & Light Company serves 4.4 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, FPL Group's competitive energy subsidiary, is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. Additional information is available on the Internet at, and

About Rothenbach Park

Rothenbach Park is located at the east end of Bee Ridge Road approximately three miles east of Interstate 75. The site is located on a former landfill that was closed in 1998. The park is part of the High Point Complex which includes Animal Services' animal shelter, the Chemical Collection Center, and Public Works facility operations center.

About Sustainable Sarasota

Sustainable Sarasota is a coalition of Sarasota County Government and private groups working to ensure a sustainable future for the county.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 11, 2006
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