[Sorrento, FL] Big-time solar energy provider BlueChip Energy, LLC (BCE) is building a 40 megawatt “solar farm” in Sorrento. The farm, to be the largest in Florida and one of the largest in the U.S., will sit on 140 of the 201 acres of land the company owns in Lake County.
The project will utilize approximately 174,000 230-Watt mono-crystalline solar PV panels.
The 64 million kilowatt hours per year generated from the Sorrento Solar Farm is enough juice to meet the needs of 8,000 Florida homes. It will displace over 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. The power produced will be sold to Progress Energy Florida.
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners unanimous approved and fast-tracked the project in less than 10 weeks. The Lake County Zoning Board also gave its unanimous praise for the farm.
“The expeditious permitting process is remarkable considering the months or even years that some large scale projects have taken historically.” commented Craig Livingston, Project Manager for the company.
Sorrento Solar Farm site layout
“Final approval for the development of Sorrento Solar Farm is a landmark decision for both Lake County and the State of Florida,” said Thomas Gregory, Chief Strategy Officer for BlueChip Energy. “This utility-scale solar project will bring significant economic opportunity to Lake County.”
The Sorrento Solar Farm will generate jobs as well – up to 400 earning several million in wages. Over the life of the project more than 2,200 jobs will be positively impacted. That translates into $122 million in earnings.
The planning of the solar farm took into consideration the surrounding environment and is minimizing any impact to the rolling pasture land. By keeping the panels less than seven feet off the ground, the natural environment of the area will be preserved as much as possible.
There will also be an observation deck for the public (bring sunglasses).
Headquartered in Lake Mary, BCE already has multiple rooftop projects in the area: Abio Corporation (Orlando, 25 kilowatt), Ace Hardware (Orange City, 10 kW) and at their Lake Mary home base (120 kW).
By: Mark Christopher/Sunshine Slate
Images: BlueChip Energy, LLC
Resources: BlueChip Energy, LLC