The plan comprises the installation of more than 5,000 solar panels on multiple canopy-like structures that will offer areas of shade for race fans while generating zero-emissions energy. The solar panels will be located outside the frontstretch, in the Sprint FANZONE and in one of the Speedway’s parking lots. The electricity generated will help power the Speedway’s operations and FPL’s 4.7 million customers via the grid.
“A destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors to our state every year, reaching millions across the globe on television and online, Daytona International Speedway is a Florida landmark and an American icon. We are truly honored to be part of its incredible revitalization,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “By partnering with the Speedway on this exciting project, we’re building a shining example of our affordable clean energy commitment and showcasing Florida’s innovation and advanced economy for the world.”
FPL is a subsidiary of Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc., the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the Official Renewable Energy Provider of both Daytona International Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. As part of a long-term partnership agreement, NextEra Energy Resources is continuing its entitlement sponsorship of the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race that is held annually during Budweiser Speedweeks.
“We’re very excited to continue our strong relationship with all of the NextEra Energy Companies,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “FPL’s solar energy solutions will help us create a modern and advanced motorsports stadium while improving the fan experience.”
When the installation is complete, DIS will rank fifth-largest among U.S. professional sports facilities for solar energy capacity, according to data from the Solar Energy Installers Association. The project’s total generating capacity is expected to be approximately 1.7 megawatts, making it one of the largest distributed solar installations in Florida.
The clean energy generated by the installation will prevent the emission of an estimated 2,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year – equivalent to an average vehicle driving 2,000,000 laps around Daytona International Speedway.
FPL plans to begin construction on the solar installation by this fall, with the goal of connecting it to the grid by the end of the year. The installation will include high-tech data-gathering equipment that will provide FPL with real-time and long-term data to help the company continue incorporating more solar power into the grid in the future.
Across Florida, before the end of 2016, FPL expects to triple its current solar capacity – adding a total of more than 225 megawatts of new solar power in Florida. The company currently operates 110 megawatts of solar at three large-scale plants, including the FPL Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center, part of a public-private partnership with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.