170 contractors lose their jobs at FPL

INDIANTOWN, FL (WFLX) - Florida Power & Light Company told 170 contractors they were out of a job Tuesday at its Solar Energy Center near Indiantown.

FPL vehemently denies this is a lay-off, however, saying instead the employees were temporary.

"This is a temporary reduction, as is typical for construction projects," said Jackie Anderson, an FPL spokeswoman in an e-mail. "The total number of workers onsite ebbs and flows as the project progresses."

Despite the reduction in workforce, the company said it is still on track to open the plant at the end of 2010, said  Anderson. The project still employs 680 contractors.

The plant is the first hybrid solar facility in the world to connect to an existing combined-cycle power plant, according to the FPL Website. At 75 megawatts, the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center is the largest solar thermal plant outside of California.