Massive solar grid powers Lee County beer warehouse

Published: January 4, 2017 8:33 PM EST
Updated: January 4, 2017 8:35 PM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The largest commercial rooftop solar power system in Lee and Collier counties now sits atop a warehouse full of beer.

J.J. Taylor Distributing Florida just completed the 1.1 megawatt grid atop its 201,000-square-foot building off State Road 82 just west of Interstate 75. The 3,333 panels cut the energy needs for the warehouse by 80 percent just as Florida Power and Light is raising rates by about 31 cents a day for the average customer.

And J.J. Taylor is far from the average customer. At full capacity, the warehouse could hold as many as 15.6 million cans of beer. The solar power system can give out enough energy to power the equivalent of 4,000 homes.

The company plans to use part of the savings to add about three dozen jobs.

 

 

The project’s completion comes shortly after the failure of Florida Amendment 1, a November ballot measure that solar advocates strongly opposed on the grounds that it would raise fees on solar users, among other concerns.

But the amendment wasn’t a major factor in the J.J. Taylor project, a company official said. Work began four months ago, about two months prior to the vote.