Florida International University (FIU) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) recently completed a commercial-scale solar installation at FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing. It is “one of a kind” in Florida in that it is FPL’s only such solar research facility at a university.
The 1.4-megawatt solar array of 4,400+ solar panels rests on canopy-like structures. Supplying clean electricity to FPL’s grid, the panels are also providing shade for cars parking underneath.
What actually caught our eye, though, was the 17-second timelapse video of the construction process (h/t Iskander Diyashev). It is pretty fun to watch. Check it out here:
“Engineering faculty and students from the Energy, Power & Sustainability (EPS) program at FIU will use the installation to conduct research that will help FPL advance solar energy in the state,” the press release stated.
“This research project builds on our long-standing relationship with FPL,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “Our students will get hands-on experience and see how the research they conduct in the lab will have an impact in the real world – gaining skills that will help them compete for high-tech 21st-century jobs. This solar power facility is a win-win for FIU, FPL, and our community.”
FIU researchers are considering Florida’s subtropical climate as part of their research.
“Solar power depends on the sun for fuel and with South Florida’s tropical weather conditions the amount of sun can vary greatly from one moment to the next,” said Arif Sarwat, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering who serves as director of the FIU and FPL Solar Research Facility and EPS. “In Florida, where sunshine can vary moment to moment, our team is researching how intermittent power generation impacts the grid with an eye toward a better understanding of how to best leverage solar power.”
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Image Credit: FIU
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