Sparkleberry: FPL Plans Molino Solar Farm, The Third In North Escambia

February 28, 2022

Florida Power & Light (FPL) is considering a third solar farm in North Escambia on hundreds of acres in Molino.

The Sparkleberry Solar Energy Center is planned for 555 acres south of the end of Pilgrim Trail. According to FPL, over 200,000 solar panels will generate nearly 75 megawatts — enough energy to power 15,000 homes.

The Sparkleberry site in Molino is just entering the development review process in Escambia County, prior to any construction permits being issued.

The Molino solar farm is roughly the same size as two others in North Escambia.

The 300,000 solar panels at the Cotton Creek Solar Energy Center on Bogia Road near McDavid have been in operation since the first of the year, producing up to about 75 megawatts.

The First City Solar Energy Center, the second FPL solar site to be built in North Escambia,  off Holland, Cox and Roach roads in McDavid is not yet operational. It also has a planned output of 75 megawatts. graphic showing the proposed location of the Sparkleberry Solar Energy Center in Molino, click to enlarge.


50 Responses to “Sparkleberry: FPL Plans Molino Solar Farm, The Third In North Escambia”

  1. David Huie Green on March 8th, 2022 7:14 pm

    “that great water is way,way cheaper than Solar powered Electricity!”

    The statement is sort of true but meaningless. Water is free unless you want to move it, in which case you have associated expenses.

    We can extract energy from water by dropping it through a resistance. Lower one pound of water one foot and you may get at most one foot-pound of energy. Drop a thousand pounds a thousand feet and you can extract a million foot-pounds.

    But you have to have a thousand foot drop and a thousand pounds. I believe Bluff Springs is something like 40 feet above sea level. Flood my house and all of Century and you might get 80 feet of drop if you placed your dam down at the shoreline.

    Ain’t gonna happen.

    A 100 watt solar panel yields 265,522+ foot-pounds of electrical energy per hour of direct sunlight. No thousand pounds of water or 265 foot dam required.

    Think on it.

  2. Swampfox on March 3rd, 2022 1:59 pm

    Looks to me that no one owns flowing water! Hydroelectricity is 24/7 and carries with it prolly the least expensive and 24/7 reliability for us consumers of electricity. Likewise the underground rivers which we currently tap for drinking & other uses ! I’m pretty sure no one owns the flowing water in those underground resources ! It’s also evident we may run dry from too many straws sucking up that delicious water ! Understand we’re getting (molino) our great water from deep down (aquifers) from maybe Tennessee/North Carolina etc. By the way…that great water is way,way cheaper than Solar powered Electricity! And , prolly need water more than Electricity!

  3. David Huie Green on March 2nd, 2022 7:20 pm

    “they use the sun to make energy and feel justified to over charge us for the use of a natural resource which they Don’t own and can never be owned by anyone”

    Matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

    Sunlight contains energy. This energy can be converted to electrical energy by assorted methods using assorted mechanisms. This energy can be sent to those who want it by other mechanisms. Building and maintaining those mechanisms costs money.

    It is interesting that there are those who do not realize this.

    David for appreciation

  4. GEB on March 1st, 2022 10:07 pm

    i live on Pilgrim Trail, I have 30 Sunpro solar panels, if this company is anything like them they lie about what it produces and you will still pay both companies. Beware they talk out both sides of there mouth.

  5. Swampfox on March 1st, 2022 2:29 pm

    Duke energy of Fla. supposedly has one million solar panels in place and plans for 10 more sites on line by end 2024. Solar gonna be major in Fla . But seems none like the Netmetering” on home Solar panels.

  6. Dean on March 1st, 2022 11:49 am

    FPL obviously has great political influence here in Florida…with the Florida public Service Commission as well as the legislature. It’s about money and political influence. Was it a mystery that at the same time FPL was moving into northwest Florida that at the same time the legislature was proposing legislation to no longer require power companies to pay individuals with solar power at their homes when their systems put power back into the grid? Act in your own interest people next time you are voting!

  7. Robert B on March 1st, 2022 11:07 am

    Are the panels made in the US or are they Communist Chinese (or their proxies)?

  8. Hawk on March 1st, 2022 8:26 am

    For one of my daughter’s high school science projects, she demonstrated that photovoltaic power generation, coupled with superconductivity, could solve the world’s energy problems. She even floated a magnet in midair to show how superconductivity works. The most revealing thing she demonstrated was the shortsightedness of the judges. Neither of them understood what she was saying. That’s ok. She has two degrees and doing a fine job instilling high values in moral behavior in my grandchildren as a stay-at-home mom. She has a beautiful mind. And a kind heart. And I love her.

  9. Swampfox on March 1st, 2022 5:29 am

    @ william Reynolds’s
    Here’s couple questions…are the power companies buying the solar site lands or leasing from landowners ? Your thoughts about the access roads if on pilgrim trail…did you feel all the “new” traffic would not be enjoyable to the folks currently living on existing roads ? That would sure open a barrel of worms !

  10. William Reynolds on March 1st, 2022 1:06 am

    “My first question would be … just where would the access road be??? Better not be Pilgrim Trail! Unfortunately, we weren’t able to attend the meeting last month. Does anyone have information about any upcoming meetings regarding this proposal?”

    There have NOT been any meetings concerning this solar farm. The one last month was regarding residential development.

    There are no scheduled upcoming meetings yet….the paperwork has just been filed. Any meetings will be scheduled at a later date.

  11. LOL on February 28th, 2022 10:50 pm

    Some of y’all need to figure out if you’re on the “it’s private property they can do what they want with it” or “we have a right to say what that land is used for” because you don’t get to have it both ways, right?

  12. Swampfox on February 28th, 2022 9:13 pm

    @ tommy Kirksey
    Think you’ve hit on something! Lets buy 2000 acre parcels on the SUN and record the ownership with the State ! That’s proof enough to be included in the profits chain . Just think of the Indians that lived on these lands for decades..:white man wanted proof of ownership (deed/paper) to prove it. They didn’t have it or speak our lingo !
    fighting was all they had to protect their people and heritage ! 10 cent per acre sounds fair even though it’s a bit warm up there (SOLAR ENERGY)

  13. Tommy Kirksey on February 28th, 2022 8:10 pm

    hot air ballons? giant bill boards, Lets get together and figure out a way to charge FPL for Sunlight.

  14. Well on February 28th, 2022 7:17 pm

    You could be getting 500 homes instead of solar panels.
    Look at Beulah, still clear cutting everything for house’s.

  15. Bream reaper on February 28th, 2022 7:01 pm

    Install them on Dollar Stores and power ALL of north west Florida and beyond, lol. Thanks FPL…

  16. retired on February 28th, 2022 5:48 pm

    just looked at the FP&L stock holders they are paying 7 PLUS interest

  17. Swampfox on February 28th, 2022 3:46 pm

    Isn’t FPL actually owned by Nextera ? Gulf power co and Alabama power and Georgia power and Mississippi power were owned by Southern Company ! Can FPL stock be bought ? Takes a Philadelphia lawyer to keep up with these folks ! Doesn’t FPL have lots of solar farms in Florida? The electricity produced going to the grid CD! And none of them seem to like Netmetering ! Their’s is a wonderful club…and we ain’t members

  18. Kat on February 28th, 2022 3:16 pm

    Wow, destroy more trees and wildlife, add more solar panels…charge their customers even more for the new place to be built.. this is frickin crazy..

  19. KitKat on February 28th, 2022 3:07 pm

    My first question would be … just where would the access road be??? Better not be Pilgrim Trail! Unfortunately, we weren’t able to attend the meeting last month. Does anyone have information about any upcoming meetings regarding this proposal?

  20. Bob on February 28th, 2022 2:49 pm

    I agree with a lot of the sentiment. I don’t know how feasible it would be to install solar panels over private businesses instead of having a dedicated solar farm, but cutting down trees is not ideal.

    That said, 500 acres of forest to power 15k homes is a drop in the bucket compared to how much damage would be done to the environment if those homes were powered by conventional fossil fuels instead.

  21. straightshooter on February 28th, 2022 1:58 pm

    Put it on Mount Trashmore at the dump.

  22. Joel on February 28th, 2022 1:40 pm

    Most of the folks commenting sound like they would vote for de-regulation. Think about that for a second, and realize you can’t have it both ways.

  23. Jeremiah on February 28th, 2022 1:25 pm

    There is nothing but distraction with “going green”
    Its all about make the green presidents in FPL and people who love getting a big bunch of $$$ for themselves. FPL uses the term ” Green” referring to $$$.
    Do not ever think they care about anyone but themselves.
    They use their PR to spin the green presidents … period.

  24. nick on February 28th, 2022 1:18 pm

    if you do not like fpl doing this, you need to ask Ronnie D why he let it happen,

    freedom to not wear a mask sure covered up this deal, what a joke our governor is

    this is what he was doing while you were worried about masks

  25. William Reynolds on February 28th, 2022 12:42 pm

    “I work next to the Saufley Field solar farm. Wasn’t this the first large solar project in Escambia County?”

    Yes. Story says third in North Escambia.. Cotton Creek was first in North Escambia, First City was second (and is not in “First City”/Pensacola), a Sparkleberry will be the third.

  26. Jimbo on February 28th, 2022 12:12 pm

    ok I am no fan of FPL either, but at some point we have to quit relying on fuels that have an end life to them and start developing energy thru areas that will be here as long as we are, ie, solar, wind, thermal, hydro…next why be mad at FPL, the owner of that land, (WHO IS PROBABLY YOUR NEIGHBOR) sold their property to the highest bidder, your elected officials approved the project, and you wait to complain after the fact. Get active in discussions at board meetings, anything public that discusses this if you really have an issue, otherwise just accept that it will happen. PS Why didnt your elected officials warn you???? I know that they are ALL Republican, but Biden was probably at the root of it. (Smirk)

  27. William Lathem on February 28th, 2022 11:55 am

    So they use the sun to make energy and feel justified to over charge us for the use of a natural resource which they Don’t own and can never be owned by anyone or any company.and it is never going to run out because the sun is unlimited and self sustaining but just because we have a basic need that many will die without they think they can just take advantage of everyone so they Jack the prices up thru the roof so they can make money and live the good life while everyone one else is scratching to get by. That doesn’t sound like a honest and caring company to me it sounds more like a we don’t give a crap about anyone but ourselves run company.

  28. Mike J. on February 28th, 2022 11:11 am

    I work next to the Saufley Field solar farm. Wasn’t this the first large solar project in Escambia County?

  29. SMH on February 28th, 2022 11:10 am

    So this is most likely the reason for the extreme rise in people’s power bills. So FPL is also in the solar power business and what better way to get customers to turn to solar power than by saddling them with power bills that they cannot afford to pay. I knew there had to be an ulterior motive behind the sharp rise in peoples bills. The times that we are living in now are sad times. What has happened to morals and standards. All companies seem to care about these days are how big a profit they can make. I know that money is needed to survive but it should not cause people or companies to take advantage of people the way that has become the norm. These companies are not satisfied unless they are making multi-millions in profit, and the CEOs also. The love of money IS the root of evil.

  30. Dudley Herrington on February 28th, 2022 10:42 am

    MAYBE OUR Governor will give this Giant Power Company another Raise so WE
    can HELP them PAY FOR it !!!

  31. Carl on February 28th, 2022 10:36 am

    Just think, all people paying their power bills that are now outrageous..are funding FLP little venture.
    That why this whole solar power crap is funded, including people who cant afford or want solar are paying FLP Each month to funding. The little tier game.
    FLP.. in my 68 years I have never seen such thievery as what you do.
    And the sold out the public!

  32. Bob on February 28th, 2022 9:59 am

    Yea, Yea, Yea…

    Green energy to save the planet and lower our monthly bills.

    Liars, liars, pants on fire!!!

  33. Concerned on February 28th, 2022 9:59 am

    I deeply agree with Mic Hall! Stop killing the forest and wildlife that live there!!!!!

  34. Swampfox on February 28th, 2022 9:54 am

    Well , let’s see here !

    Electricity costs sky high
    Gasoline sky high
    Homeowners Insurance prolly gonna too
    Food costs sky high
    automobile Insurance gotta jump
    FPL doesn’t like Net Metering
    Newspaper takes 2 minutes to read ( zero content)
    Automobile costs crazy (try to buy)
    Gonna have 3 Solar farms to lower costs to 45,000 houses by FPL
    Remember FPL doesn’t like net metering !
    Leave anything out?

  35. Jj on February 28th, 2022 9:49 am

    Guys when they talk about going green they talking about there pocket’s

  36. Klem on February 28th, 2022 9:35 am

    Maybe stop trying to block home panels instead of clear cutting 555 acres.

  37. ensley boy on February 28th, 2022 9:34 am

    As long as people will sell their land to FPL , there will be solar farms built.

  38. retired on February 28th, 2022 9:26 am

    How much is our bill going down, to pay for this project???????????????????

  39. Why? on February 28th, 2022 9:10 am

    Instead of destroying old growth and using up forest/farm land for giant solar farms, why not using the thousands upon thousands of empty roofs? The space is already occupied and it would help catch some of the solar radiation that’s heating up the building which can help reduce cooling costs. Think of how many panels you could put on top of the dozens of large stores in the area.

  40. TJ on February 28th, 2022 8:57 am

    They build the solar plants/wind farms to capture tax credits and for credits to offset their fossil fuel use else ware. When you have to report your renewable numbers relative to fossil fuels the higher the number the better you look on paper. Solar is good as a base load during the day when the sun is shining. You can add batteries to extend the effective time one can use the power which is very expensive even today. When you understand it takes 100,000+ tons of ore to make one TESLA battery not sure how that saves the planet. Nuclear power is also used for base loading. You still need Natural Gas or Coal plants to handle the peak power demands. The problem is when you build out too much solar and wind like California and Texas did and not enough NG to handle peak demand, you have to live with rolling blackouts.

  41. Jack on February 28th, 2022 8:49 am

    I wonder if they want us to subsidize this? They are so against it until they need to repair or expand. Subsidies for the big guy but not for the little guy.

  42. Kyle on February 28th, 2022 8:08 am

    Let’s build a 200 acre cancer center..what a waist of money. Florida power doesn’t give a rip about the Environment..Just there shareholders wallets.

  43. Phil on February 28th, 2022 8:03 am

    Just another solar scam

  44. StraightShooter on February 28th, 2022 7:59 am

    #@!% NO!!!!!
    We see what kind of company these people are, just look at your last bill. FLP has already destroyed over 1000 acres of our forest land to power 30,000 homes and how did that work out for us??
    Send them to south Florida to install solar.

  45. David on February 28th, 2022 7:56 am

    There is a noticeable hum that is put off by these solar panels. I live on Bogia rd, and love the peace and quiet that comes with living there. They don’t tell you about this before they put it in, and the water runoff has changed so that when we get a heavy rain, it crosses W Bogia rd. It never did this before.

  46. fred on February 28th, 2022 7:42 am

    I see these claims of how many homes these solar farms will power, which I’m sure is based on some calculation of power generation and average consumption. Has anyone actually powered a community on nothing but solar power? Has it been done and proven anywhere? Or, is this just a grand woke exercise of huge spending and cost?

  47. Mic Hall on February 28th, 2022 7:12 am

    When we replace forest and wildlife with solar panels the result is not very ‘green’.

    Trees absorb CO2 and heat then produce oxygen and homes for wildlife.

    This Solar panel field will destroy forest and wildlife is displaced or killed then the panels reflect heat to increase heating to the atmosphere.

    If you want to be green NEVER destroy a forest for panels. Put them on buildings. Install them as shade over parking lots (like they do in the west). It’s not like we don’t have plenty of those already.

  48. BendOver and take it on February 28th, 2022 6:35 am

    Wow…now our power bills are really gonna drop…

  49. BrianH on February 28th, 2022 6:12 am

    So let’s destroy over 500 acres of forest to generate enough power for only 15k homes. Sure sounds green to me.

  50. Interested on February 28th, 2022 6:10 am

    I think people need to see what these ghastly solar farms look like during construction and upon completion. I think they may find them objectionable in their community. They are an eyesore….at least the ones I have seen.