Despite taking place in the heart of tea party country, President Obama braved the handful of teabaggers protesting everything from cap and trade, to solar power to yes, health care reform for the opening of Florida Power and Light's new solar energy power plant in Arcadia, FL. The 40 megawatt 90,000+ solar panel plant, which have been installed across 180 acres of the 5,000 acre FPL property, is expected to generate enough clean electricity to power 3,000 homes. So far the FPL plant is the largest operating solar power plant in the US. During the event President Obama also announced the largest stimulus fund award to date - grants of $3.4 billion awarded to one hundred private companies, utilities, manufacturers, cities and other partners for development of smart grid technologies. Below is the official White House press release.
Not to be outdone, Vice President Biden was in Wilmington Delaware today to announce Fisker Automotive's purchase and reopening of a GM auto plant that was recently closed down. The electric vehicle manufacturer, an EV competitor of California's Tesla Motors, is expected to manufacturer moderately priced sedans at its new Wilmington location. The new Fisker plant is expected to employ 2,000 workers, up from the 450 workers there when GM closed the plant down last summer. This is huge news for not only electric vehicle enthusiasts but our nations's beleagured automotive industry and manufacturing base.
“The $3.4 billion in Smart Grid Investment Grant awards are part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, and will be matched by industry funding for a total public-private investment worth over $8 billion. Applicants state that the projects will create tens of thousands of jobs, and consumers in 49 states will benefit from these investments in a stronger, more reliable grid.
Speaking at Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, President Barack Obama today announced the largest single energy grid modernization investment in U.S. history, funding a broad range of technologies that will spur the nation’s transition to a smarter, stronger, more efficient and reliable electric system. The end result will promote energy-saving choices for consumers, increase efficiency, and foster the growth of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. "