Letters to the Editor

FPL’s solar plans

FPL is prepared to invest $400-$420 million on rural solar farms in contiguous West Coast counties: DeSoto, Charlotte, and Manatee.

Meanwhile, we all know that the cooling canals at Turkey Point will continue to overheat this summer, which will encourage algae growth in the canals and cause evaporation, which will cause over-salinization, which will cause salt water intrusion into the aquifer, which will affect us all in time.

There are 13.4 miles of canals, which can easily be seen in aerial photographs, and 4,320 acres of water surface.

Is there any justifiable reason for not constructing a network of solar panels over those canals, possibly in a checkerboard pattern, to allow the summer rains to freshen and cool the water? The net result would have to be beneficial.

Imagine the amount of sunshine that could be harnessed. Importantly, the panels’ shade would help cool the water. The bottom surface of the panels would catch at least some of the evaporation, condense it, and return fresh water to the canal, which would necessarily decrease the salt saturation. The crocs would probably welcome the shade.

The land is not being used for anything profitable, just to separate the canals. Obviously, it is FPL property, and already on the site of power production and transmission. FPL should be taking positive steps to produce solar energy, protect the environment, and improve living conditions, especially in an already overcrowded Miami-Dade.

This partial solution is so obvious that it must have been brought up before by scientists and engineers. Why haven’t they acted on it? Why is a solar farm more advantageous in DeSoto, Charlotte, and Manatee counties than here, where it could be producing electricity while helping the nuclear plant?

James M. Ford, Homestead

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