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Florida Power & Light Teaming With FIU To Create Solar Energy Facility

The top utility company in the Sunshine State, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), is partnering with Florida International University (FIU) to create a new commercial-scale distributed solar power facility, according to recent reports.

The proposed facility will reportedly simultaneously serve to generate electricity for FPL’s extensive customer base and as a solar energy research facility investigating the effects of distributed generation on the wider electricity grid.

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The plan is for over 5,700 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to be installed on 23 “canopy-like structures” that are expected to be built during the summer in FIU’s Engineering Center parking lot. The solar array — which will total 1.6 megawatts (MW) — will allow for the collection of data that will then be utilized by faculty and students from FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing. The effects of distributed solar PV generation on the grid in real-life South Florida conditions can then (presumably) be ascertained to a greater degree than they are now.

“This innovative solar project builds on FIU’s relationship with FPL, one that provides our students with unparalleled and unique training opportunities,” stated FIU President Mark B Rosenberg. “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.”

As it stands, FPL is reportedly aiming to triple its solar energy generation capacity in the state (from where it was earlier this year) by the end of next year.

Image Credit: FPL

 
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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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