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December 14, 2018

Business Florida 2018 - The Regions

Energized for Growth

| 9/22/2017

South Central

Average population density here is 49.8. At just 17 persons per square mile, Highlands County has the most room to grow.

52% of Hendry County residents are of Hispanic descent compared to 24% statewide; next closest in South Central is Hardee County with a 43% Latino concentration. (U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Population / 257,651
  • Labor Force / 96,860
  • Households / 104,061
  • Total Earnings / $3.71 bil.
  • Median Per Capita Income / $28,306
  • Total Retail Sales / $2.62 bil.
  • State College / 1

Florida utilities have found South Central Florida, with its abundance of wide-open space and sunshine, an ideal environment for solar power plants. Three are up and running; two more will be completed before spring 2018.



DESOTO COUNTY Florida Power & Light (FPL) expects to begin generating 74.5 megawatts of power — enough for 15,000 homes — from its Wildflower Solar Energy Center by 2018. The state’s first solar plant, DeSoto Solar Energy Center, opened here in 2009, and the Citrus Solar Energy Center opened in 2016. DeSoto generates more solar power than any other Florida county.

HENDRY COUNTY Currently under construction, FPL’s Hammock Solar Energy Center is expected to begin generating 74.5 megawatts of power in spring 2018. Like the DeSoto plant, the Hendry facility will operate as a universal solar center — virtually silent and requiring no water or staff to operate.

HARDEE COUNTY Seminole Electric Cooperative unveiled a solar facility in December 2016 on the grounds of its natural gas-fired Midulla Generating Station in Bowling Green. With more than 8,000 panels, the 2.2-megawatt facility is the utility’s first large-scale solar project. Seminole Electric provides power for more than 1.6 million Floridians through nine member-owned distribution cooperatives, including Glades Electric Cooperative in Moore Haven and Peace River Electric Cooperative in Wauchula.

Key Players

Florida Power & Light | Juno Beach
Seminole Electric Cooperative | Tampa


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