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FPL to equip six Florida schools with 'Next Generation Solar Education Stations' to teach students about renewable energy

Juno Beach, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company will install cutting-edge solar power arrays at six schools in its service territory to help teach future generations about the benefits of renewable energy.

Each school receiving a ‘Next Generation Solar Education Station’ will be able to generate emissions-free electricity and provide students with a hands-on tool to learn how solar power works.

The recipients of the Next Generation Solar Education Stations are:

• Mandarin Lakes Academy K-8 Center, Homestead (Miami-Dade County)
• Deerfield Beach Middle School (Broward County)
• SunCoast Community High School, Riviera Beach (Palm Beach County)
• J.D. Parker Elementary School, Stuart (Martin County)
• Hinson Middle School, Daytona Beach (Volusia County)
• L.A. Ainger Middle School, Rotunda West (Charlotte County)

“The next generation of Floridians will live in a world where renewable energy is a central part of the economy and our way of life. The Next Generation Solar Education Stations we are building will give students a head start on understanding the critical role solar power will play in that future,” said FPL President and CEO Armando J. Olivera.

When each FPL Next Generation Solar Education Station is complete, it will provide 5 kilowatts of solar electricity. The solar installation will save the schools about $800 each year in electricity costs while giving teachers a way to focus science education on essential energy technologies of the future.

Photovoltaic panels convert sunlight directly into electricity, which will help power the school’s lighting and air-conditioning systems, particularly on hot days when demand for electricity is at its highest. Any excess power will be fed into the electrical grid to offset electric costs. The FPL Group Foundation is paying for the installation of the six solar arrays this year as part of a pilot program. The Foundation is partnering on this initiative with SunPower Corp., a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, and the company that designed and is building FPL’s commercial-scale photovoltaic solar sites in DeSoto and Brevard counties.

“We congratulate FPL on its on-going leadership in the development of renewable energy,” said Howard Wenger, president, global business units for SunPower. “SunPower is proud to partner with FPL on this initiative. It is our hope that these systems in Florida’s schools inspire new generations of informed energy consumers to be advocates for our environment and clean, renewable solar power.”

Unlike most small-scale photovoltaic solar arrays, which are mounted on rooftops, FPL’s Next Generation Solar Education Stations will be mounted on the ground to maximize their effectiveness as a teaching tool. The FPL Group Foundation also will provide teacher training and curriculum materials to help create age-appropriate renewable energy lessons for students. All materials will be housed on FPL’s Web site. 
In addition to these six Next Generation Solar Education Stations, FPL also is the first company to bring commercial-scale solar power to Florida. The company will build three solar sites around the state totaling 110 megawatts of emissions-free energy. When complete, these projects will make Florida the No. 2 producer of solar energy in the nation and strengthen FPL Group’s position as the nation’s clean energy leader.

Among the company’s other clean-energy achievements:

• FPL Group is the nation’s No. 1 producer of renewable energy from wind. The company has 65 projects in 16 states with a capacity of nearly 6,400 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power more than 1.5 million homes and businesses with zero carbon emissions. 
• FPL Group is the nation’s No. 1 producer of renewable energy from solar. The company operates the largest solar thermal plant in the world in California’s Mojave Desert, the 310-megawatt Solar Electric Generating System.
• FPL is the nation’s No. 1 utility for energy conservation, according to U.S. Department of Energy data. FPL’s conservation programs have helped the company avoid the need to build 12 medium-size power plants since 1980, more than any other utility.

Florida Power & Light Company 
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is the largest electric utility in Florida and one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the United States.  FPL serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is a leading employer in the state with nearly 11,000 employees.  The company consistently outperforms national averages for service reliability while customer bills are well below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and the No. 1 energy efficiency program among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based FPL Group (NYSE: FPL). For more information, visit

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