Miami-Dade is seeking to add floating solar power plants to its electrical operations while it looks to the private sector to speed the use of the floating plants elsewhere, a report from Mayor Daniella Levine Cava says.
“The county is reviewing some of its facilities with water bodies close enough to ‘tie-in’ floating solar power plants to their on-site electricity systems,” the report says.
Among those sites, the report says, “are a Community Action Human Services Department facility and a Water and Sewer Department facility which will be included in an upcoming solicitation to install on-site solar systems at several county facilities.”
The Water and Sewer Department has studied a pilot project of floating solar power plants on a manmade retention pond at its South Dade Wastewater Treatment Plant, the report says.
The mayor has long sought floating solar power plants after the county voted in 2018 to work jointly with FPL to create such a plant on Glide Angle Lake near Miami International Airport that is now in use. In 2019 as a commissioner her motion asked Mayor Carlos Giménez to report what else could be done to add floating power plants. As mayor she finally delivered that report.
“Our state is ripe for floating solar power plants because of our high land values, high evaporation rates, power generating potential from sunshine, and abundance of water surface area from artificial water bodies,” the report explains.
Global capacity from such plants “grew exponentially to 3.6 gigawatts in 2021,” the report said, noting that China, India and South Korea have the largest floating solar projects. In Florida, Orlando has partnered with a utility to install floating power plants across the metropolitan area, with more in the pipeline.
“Privately held rock mining lakes in Miami-Dade may become county property when they reach their end of mining utility,” the report says. “The county may then consider them for floating solar power plants.”