SunPower Snags Massive Florida Solar Power Plant Deal

SunPower said this morning that it’s scored a sunny deal in the Sunshine state. The solar cell maker will build those two massive solar photovoltaic power plants that Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) has in the works (and we wrote about here). SunPower (SPWR) will design and build the plants, while FPL will own and maintain them. SunPower’s stock rose more than 12 percent on the news, to $68.57.

The bigger of the two will be a 25-megawatt plant in DeSoto County, Fla., which SunPower said will be “the largest solar photovoltaic power plant in the U.S.” It will be slightly larger the 21.5-megawatt plant SunEdison and Duke Energy are building (and similarly claimed would be the largest in the country). But it pales in comparison to the 550-megawatt PV plant that Optisolar has been talking about.

SunPower will also build the smaller but still sizable 10-megawatt photovoltaic plant at the Kennedy Space Center. The DeSoto plant is expected to be completed by 2009, and the Kennedy plant by 2010; the projects still need to be approved by the Florida Public Service Commission.

In addition to the PV plants, FPL is building a 75-megawatt solar thermal plant at its existing Martin combined-cycle power facility; no word yet on which firm scored that deal. FPL estimates that these three solar projects will cost a total of $688 million.

Image of SunPower solar installation in Korea, courtesy of SunPower.