Florida's leading utility company, Florida Power and Light Company, announced the firm would partner with Florida International University to build a new commercial-scale solar power facility, Clean Technica reported.
As of now, the project is expected to control more than 5,700 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels this summer, which will be placed at the parking lot of FIU's Engineering Center. There will be 23 canopy structures to hold the panels and officials at FPL said a total of 1.6 megawatts will be generated.
Additionally, students and faculty at the university will be able to research the data at FIU's College of Engineering and Computing. The research will be based around the actual southern Florida conditions and the ability to collect energy in that environment.
"This innovative solar project builds on FIU's relationship with FPL, one that provides our students with unparalleled and unique training opportunities," FIU President Mark B Rosenberg said, according to the source. "Through this project, our engineering students will make a direct contribution to the growth of solar energy in our state, while gaining invaluable experience working side by side with professionals from one of the most forward-thinking utilities in the nation."
FPL wants to continue solar growth within the state
Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL, said his company currently has three solar power plants operating in Florida, but hopes to add much more, Fierce Energy reported. In fact, FPL has a goal to triple its solar power generation total capacity in Florida by the end of 2016. With the two organizations partnering, more research will occur on campus with solar energy possibilities
"FPL is proud to be a leader in advancing solar energy in smart ways, making sure to keep costs low and reliability high for our customers," Silagy added. "As the economics of solar continue to improve, we look forward to harnessing more and more energy from the sun. Our partnership with FIU is designed to help us manage solar power's interaction with the greater electric grid as part of our commitment to reliably deliver affordable clean energy for all of our customers."
The hope is to bring more awareness on renewable energy and the benefits of solar power. This will increase the overall solar capacity in the state with more projects still to come.
More information on U.S. solar power can be found on PennEnergy's research area.