Solar-Based Project in Harmony
In partnership with Florida State University, OUC will participate in a 5-megawatt solar/biomass hybrid power plant to be located in Harmony’s Florida Sustainable Energy Research Park in Osceola County. The project will use biomass (wood chips and sawdust) gasifiers to generate electricity. Harmony would build, own and operate the project,and OUC would purchase renewable energy and receive the environmental attributes.
The project consists of a power plant-fueled by biomass that will produce syngas to fire a conventional boiler. Thirty acres of solar troughs will be installed to use the sun’s energy to increase the efficiency of the project. Harmony plans to apply for project funding from a Department of Energy (DOE) Stimulus Grant. The FSU Energy and Sustainability Center will conduct research at the plant and providing an educational component.
OUC and other local partners have applied for $29 million in funding for a joint DOE demonstration project to study the use of algae for carbon capture, water treatment, and as a renewable fuel. As part of the proposal, a one-acre test site would be established at Stanton to grow algae and determine its viabilityas a method of capturing and “consuming” carbon, which would be extracted from the CO2 in the flue gas emitted from Stanton’s coal-fired generating units. The algae would be sent to a bio-refinery where it will be converted tobio-fuel, pelletized and sent back to SEC as a renewable energy source.
OUC’s plans to participate in a $29 million U.S. Department of Energy joint demonstration project to study the use of algae for carbon capture, water treatment and as a renewable fuel. In addition to OUC and DOE, the joint effort includes five other companies, including SAIC, MSCW and Orlando’s own Aqua Fiber Technologies Corporation. Under the proposal, DOE would provide about 80percent of the funding and OUC would provide about $360,000, mostly for in‐kind services. As part of the multi‐tiered proposal, a one‐acre algae test site would be established at the Stanton Energy Center to test the viability of algae as a method of capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide gas from the coal‐fired generation units. “This is a great opportunity for a very nominal investment and utilizes a local company,” said City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
Gainesville Biomass Project
Partnering with Gainesville Regional Utility and others,OUC is considering investing in the biomass-fueled 100 MW Gainesville Renewable Energy Center. Slated to be complete by 2014, this power plant will offset the use of coal by generating electricity from logging residue, forest thinning and other urban waste vegetation.
Biomass is ideal as a renewable resource in north central Florida, as forestry for paper pulp, chip and saw timber is the principal agricultural industry. The biomass burned in the plant will come from the leftover waste wood of timber harvesting operations and other indirect sources such as urban vegetation management.
The proposed facility will be constructed on GRU’s existing Deer haven Generating Station site, which already includes 421 megawatts (net) of coal and gas-fired steam and combustion turbine units. Nacogdoches will be responsible for fuel acquisition as well as all other operating functions, and GRU will purchase the unit’s output under a long-term purchased power agreement. The new plant is expected to provide economical power as well as environmental and regulatory benefits.
Turning Trash Into Energy
As the most economical renewable source of reliable energy, landfill gas is also reliable and sustainable... which is why it’s been part of the OUC energy portfolio since 1998.
In partnership with Orange County, we have been turning “trash into treasure” by capturing methane emissions from county landfill cells and piping it to Stanton Energy Center where it is co-fired with coal. In addition to helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the landfills, the 8-megawatt (MW) green energy program displaces more than 3 percent of the fossil fuel required for SEC Units 1 and 2 and provides enough electricity every day for 10,000 homes. The OUC facility at the Orange County Landfill produces more than 100,000 MWH of reduced-emissions power – offsetting about 44,000 tons of coal each year.
Looking to the future, OUC and Orange County have signed new agreements for future landfill projects – expanding capacity to 22 MW. OUC is also exploring a landfill gas project in Osceola County.
Nearly 6-MW Array Providing Clean, Green Power to More Than 600 Homes
The first solar farm in Orange County has been completed at OUC's Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center along Innovation Way. The 5.9-Megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) array in east Orange County can generate enough renewable energy to power more than 600 homes.
Duke Energy and Regenesis Power LLC are installing, operating and maintaining the system, and OUC plans to purchase that power for the next 20 years.
“The solar farm not only increases OUC’s portfolio of clean generation, it also provides the opportunity to study the impact a large-scale solar array will have on our electric distribution system,” said OUC Board President Maylen Dominguez at a dedication ceremony at the site December 7, 2011.
The first solar farm in Orange County is located at OUC's Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center along Innovation Way.
The solar farm adds to an already diverse fleet of clean, reliable generation at OUC’s 3,280-acre Stanton Energy Center, which is home to natural gas, landfill gas and coal.
OUC customers who travel along Innovation Way can see the solar generation that is providing renewable energy to their homes and businesses. More than 25,000 PV modules are easily visible from the road.
The solar panels feature a patented single-axis tracking system that increases electricity output by up to 30 percent and can withstand hurricane-force winds in the stow position.
STANTON SOLAR FARM BY THE NUMBERS
- 1st solar farm in Orange County and 1st OUC solar farm
- 25,172 solar modules
- 5.91 Megawatts – enough energy for 600 homes. The power is distributed differently each minute, based on the specific needs of the grid at any one moment.
- 35 acres of solar panels
- 600 tons of steel was used to support the modules
- 40 mile per hour sustained wind gusts will prompt the panels to move into a horizontal, hurricane-proof position
- 17 miles of electric wire connects the modules to the electric grid
- 20 years projected life of the solar farm
Orange County Convention Center, OUC Flip Switch on Giant Solar Array
1-Megawatt Rooftop Array is largest of its kind in the Southeast U.S.
OUC and Orange County flipped the switch on the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) system in the Southeast United States in May 2009 at the Orange County Convention Center. The one-megawatt rooftop array was the result of a partnership between Orange County and OUC that was awarded a $2.5 million grant from the State of Florida to install the landmark project. The completion of the solar installation, which the DOE named a Solar America Showcase.
In addition to the grant, OUC contributed $1.5 million to the project and will receive 10 years worth of Renewable Energy Credits in that amount.
The PV system, which utilizes high-efficiency, flat-plate collectors, covers about 200,000-square feet of the Convention Center's North/South building and will generate 1,300 to 1,500 megawatt hours of electricity per year, the equivalent to the power used by 80 to 100 typical homes, and it will do so without producing any greenhouse gas emissions. The benefits of generating electricity with solar energy include reducing energy costs, global warming and dependence on foreign fuels.
This $8.8 million multi-purpose project also features a Climate-Change Education Center (CCEC) inside the Convention Center to promote the many environmental and economic benefits of solar and other renewable-energy technologies.
OUC, Petra Solar Launch Landmark Solar Demonstration Project
OUC installs 10 of Petra Solar’s SunWave™ intelligent photovoltaic solar systems on utility poles along Curry Ford Road.
OUC and clean energy company Petra Solar teamed up in September 2009 to launch the first utility pole-mounted solar photovoltaic system in Florida .
Ten of Petra Solar’s SunWave™ intelligent photovoltaic solar systems are being installed on OUC utility poles along Curry Ford Road. Together the panels can generate up to 2 kilowatts, about enough to power a small home.
“Through projects like this, OUC continues to investigate and evaluate various alternative power sources that can help us continue to deliver reliable, affordable and clean electricity to our customers,” said Byron Knibbs, Vice President of Sustainable Services for OUC, which provides electric and water services to nearly 221,000 customers.
The innovative solar panel demonstration project is expected to help enhance the Smart Grid capabilities and reliability of the electric distribution grid.
Petra Solar worked in collaboration with the University of Central Florida in developing the pole-mounted approach to clean energy generation.
“The SunWave systems not only turn street light and utility poles into solar generators, they also communicate with the electric grid and can offer smart grid capabilities. In addition, the systems are expected to enhance electric distribution grid reliability through a host of capabilities such as voltage and frequency monitoring and reactive power compensation.”
For more information on OUC's solar programs, please visit the residential solar or commercial solar sections of ouc.com.