Rule to change for solar power
The county proposes to add solar power generating as an allowed use on property zoned Ag-10.
ARCADIA — The DeSoto County Commission will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Monday to consider defining solar generating facilities under the Land Development Regulations.
Presently, the county’s comprehensive plan, which is the framework for planning, includes a category of land use for electrical generating facilities. However, the LDRs do not define various types of electrical generating plants.
The county’s planning department recommended creating a special category for solar electrical generation facilities, and allowing such operations to be sited on land zoned Agriculture 10.
The planning staff said solar power is a clean, renewable source of electricity. The proposed rule change would allow companies with property designated for a future use of Electrical Generating Facilities to locate solar plants on Ag-10 land.
The change will be beneficial for Florida Power & Light, which celebrated a groundbreaking for its photovoltaic solar power facility in late February. The facility is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, and will be known officially as the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center.
When completed, the facility will be the largest photovoltaic solar plant in the nation and will have 25 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity, ultimately becoming the largest of its kind in the world. When the next phase is completed, another 150 megawatts of power-generation capacity will be added. Solar photovoltaic technology converts sunlight into electricity through the use of battery cells.
The 200-acre site is 9 miles north of Arcadia off U.S. 17. The site will include 180 acres for solar panels and will cost $175 million to build. FPL said the cost of the project will be recovered throughout the life of the project, which is estimated at 25 to 30 years.
The proposed rule change also would delete outdated language pertaining to excavation on parcels 20 acres or larger. Newer rules adopted last year make the language in this LDR unnecessary, so it is proposed to be deleted.
If you go:
What: Public meeting on adding solar generating facilities to allowable use for Ag-10 zoned property
When: 5 p.m. Monday
Where: County Administration Building, 201 E. Oak St., Arcadia
By SUSAN E. HOFFMAN
DeSoto Assistant Editor