Solar power plant approved for Hendry County

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Florida Power and Light wants to build a 3,000-acre facility to house a new solar power plant in southern Hendry County — a plan that was unanimously approved by the county at a board meeting on Tuesday.

FPL said the solar power plant is needed to accommodate the state’s growing population.

“At Florida Power and Light we have a responsibility to meet the electricity needs of our customers and Florida’s growing economy,” said Dave McDermitt of FPL.

While supporters of the project touted it as the “future” of Florida energy, nearly a dozen residents spoke out against the future site. Many said they are worried about the environmental impact it would have on residents and wildlife.

“FPL should feel ashamed for saying that this could possibly be an environmentally sound plan when people whose ancestors who’ve lived here for generations and generations and know the land and know what that means are directly telling you you’re full of (expletive),” one person said.

The utility company also announced that it had reached an agreement with one of its biggest opponents: the Seminole Tribe Council. But on Tuesday, members of the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes told commissioners that they do not lend their support to the plant.

“FPL has only been speaking to the Seminole Tribe of Florida who does not have the authority to make decisions that impact our tribe, so expect somebody else coming knocking at your door,” one woman said.

Construction of the plant could take two to ten years, according to FPL.

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