Solar floats in the sunshine state

Florida’s biggest floating PV system has been completed in Orlando. The array uses 100 Ciel & Terre’s Hydrelio solar panels, made in the U.S. The company worked with D3 Energy and the Orlando Utilities Commission to build the 31.5-kWp floating array in the storm water storage reservoir located at the comission’s Gardenia facility.

The array will generate up to 51,000 kWh per year, serving some of the OUC’s usage on-site or going back into the grid. This expands OUC’s solar portfolio and opens doors to integrate more solar in Florida.

Florida has an annual average of 230 days of sunshine. With all that sunlight, the only thing missing was a more efficient alternative means to harness and reuse this powerful source of energy.

Hydrelio will allow standard solar PV panels to be installed on man-made bodies of water such as industrial reservoirs, storm water retention areas, dams or irrigation ponds.

OUC was the first utility in Central Florida to build a large solar farm and was one of the first in the nation to offer community solar where its customers can “buy a piece” of an array on the same Gardenia campus. The electricity produced with Hydrelio will serve some of OUC’s own electrical usage on-site, or put back up into the grid.

As the first floating array of its size in Florida, OUC will use this project as a benchmark in order to promote more efficient ways to deploy floating PV systems designed by Ciel & Terre at other reservoirs throughout OUC’s service area. A nearly 13-MWsolar array is under construction now at OUC’s Stanton Energy Center where OUC also utilizes methane gas from the Orange County landfill to offset coal. These new developments in turn will make it easier for the state of Florida as a whole to integrate more solar technology.

Ciel & Terre is currently working towards reaching a broader and more immersive global scale, with D3 Energy leading the development efforts throughout Florida. To date, floating solar projects have been implemented by Ciel & Terre in countries including Japan, Korea, China, UK, France, Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, and the United States with demo systems in California and the University of Central Florida. With more than 60 MWp of solar PV power production currently utilizing the Hydrelio system, Ciel & Terre will expand to 130 MWp of floating solar by the end of 2017.

News item from Ciel & Terre

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