DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- During one of the biggest weeks of the year for motorsports, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and Daytona International Speedway (DIS) today announced plans to install commercial-scale distributed solar power at the "World Center of Racing," complementing the ongoing $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project.
The plan comprises the installation of more than 5,000 solar panels on multiple canopy-like structures that will offer areas of shade for race fans while generating zero-emissions energy. The solar panels will be located outside the frontstretch, in the Sprint FANZONE and in one of the Speedway's parking lots. The electricity generated will help power the Speedway's operations and FPL's 4.7 million customers via the grid.
"A destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors to our state every year, reaching millions across the globe on television and online, Daytona International Speedway is a Florida landmark and an American icon. We are truly honored to be part of its incredible revitalization," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "By partnering with the Speedway on this exciting project, we're building a shining example of our affordable clean energy commitment and showcasing Florida's innovation and advanced economy for the world."
FPL is a subsidiary of Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc., the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the Official Renewable Energy Provider of both Daytona International Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. As part of a long-term partnership agreement, NextEra Energy Resources is continuing its entitlement sponsorship of the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race that is held annually during Budweiser Speedweeks.
"We're very excited to continue our strong relationship with all of the NextEra Energy Companies," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "FPL's solar energy solutions will help us create a modern and advanced motorsports stadium while improving the fan experience."
When the installation is complete, DIS will rank fifth-largest among U.S. professional sports facilities for solar energy capacity, according to data from the Solar Energy Installers Association. The project's total generating capacity is expected to be approximately 1.7 megawatts, making it one of the largest distributed solar installations in Florida.
The clean energy generated by the installation will prevent the emission of an estimated 2,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year – equivalent to an average vehicle driving 2,000,000 laps around Daytona International Speedway.
FPL plans to begin construction on the solar installation by this fall, with the goal of connecting it to the grid by the end of the year. The installation will include high-tech data-gathering equipment that will provide FPL with real-time and long-term data to help the company continue incorporating more solar power into the grid in the future.
Across Florida, before the end of 2016, FPL expects to triple its current solar capacity – adding a total of more than 225 megawatts of new solar power in Florida. The company currently operates 110 megawatts of solar at three large-scale plants, including the FPL Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center, part of a public-private partnership with NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
About Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving more than 4.7 million customer accounts across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 25 percent lower than the national average and, in 2014, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the fifth year in a row. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company was recognized in 2014 as the most trusted U.S. electric utility by Market Strategies International, and has earned the national ServiceOne Award for outstanding customer service for an unprecedented 10 consecutive years. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,700 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a leading clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, including being named to Fortune's list of "World's Most Admired Companies." NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the largest generator in North America of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
About DAYTONA Rising DAYTONA Rising is a $400 million reimagining of an American icon – Daytona International Speedway. Five expanded and redesigned entrances, or "injectors," will lead fans to a series of escalators and elevators, transporting them to three different concourse levels. Each level features spacious social areas, or "neighborhoods," along the nearly mile-long frontstretch. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will have approximately 101,000 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concession stands. In addition, the Speedway will feature over 60 luxury suites with track side views and a completely revamped hospitality experience for corporate guests. DAYTONA Rising: Reimagining an American Icon, expected to create 6,300 jobs, $300 million in labor income and over $80 million in tax revenue, will be completed in time for the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona and DAYTONA 500. Construction of DAYTONA Rising was recently cited as a primary source of expected growth in the Deltona, Fla., MSA as part of ManpowerGroup's Employment Outlook Survey.
Toyota and Florida Hospital are Founding Partners of DAYTONA Rising, joining the Speedway to help provide the very best experience for fans through more than 40,000 total square feet of engagement areas, branding rights for two of the injectors/entrances and two of the new neighborhoods.
Barton Malow is serving as the design-builder for the project. In addition to DAYTONA Rising, Barton Malow has renovated the University of Michigan "Big House" and the Rose Bowl.
ROSSETTI, an award-winning architectural design and planning firm for the past 40 years, which headed the design for Ford Field NFL Stadium, University of Notre Dame Compton Family Ice Arena and five Major League Soccer Stadiums, is leading the master planning of the DAYTONA Rising site.
Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com and connecting with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Also, fans can see the construction project up close by taking one of the daily tours available at the Speedway on non-event days throughout the year. Visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/tours or the Speedway Ticket and Tours Building for more information. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
About Daytona International Speedway Daytona International Speedway is the home of "The Great American Race" - the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup event garners most of the attention - as well as the largest audience in motorsports - the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe, thus earning it the title of "World Center of Racing." In addition to eight major weekends of racing activity, rarely a week goes by that the Speedway grounds are not used for events that include civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training.
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SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company