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 year’s 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 OUC's solar section