According to The Gainsville Sun, the University of Florida will “go solar” by November in order to reduce energy costs, and the solar panels are also to serve as a teaching tool for professors and students.
The university is building a 100-kW power plant which is expected to supply the university with 157,000 kWh of electricity per year. An average home uses 9,000 kWh to 14,400 kWh per year (750 kWh to 1,200 kWh per month).
Whenever the size of a solar panel array is mentioned, it is normally the maximum electricity generation capacity of it, but not the average amount of power that can be derived from it.
How the Gators Landed Their Solar Panels
The solar panels will actually be provided free of charge by Progress Energy through its SunSense Schools program. This program offers solar panels to up to ten public K-12 schools and one post-secondary public school annually.
The University of Florida was selected because of its commitment to renewable energy education and research, as well as the number of students attending the school and the amount of energy the school consumed.
University of Florida Solar Project Installation
Preparation of the grounds for the solar panel installation will begin this week, according to Dustin Stephany, a UF Physical Plant Division coordinator.
The ground-mounted panels will be installed at three places on and near the school’s campus. The largest will be a 78-kilowatt system at the university’s Energy Research and Education Park on Southwest 23rd Terrace.
The rest of the panels will be located near the school’s microbiology and cell science building, also between Rinker Hall, and Broward Hall on the school’s campus.