Har­vest­ing en­ergy from new farms

Two new fa­cil­i­ties to de­liver power to six cities, in­clud­ing Or­lando.

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Everitt Rosen

Six Florida mu­nic­i­pal util­i­ties, in­clud­ing those in Or­lando and Kis­sim­mee, are join­ing the grow­ing num­ber of power com­pa­nies able to pro­vide their cus­tomers with so­lar power, a cleaner source of en­ergy.

By the end of June, two of five new so­lar farm sites, the Har­mony So­lar En­ergy Cen­ter in St. Cloud and the Tay­lor Creek So­lar En­ergy Cen­ter in east Or­ange County, are ex­pected to be­gin com­mer­cial op­er­a­tion.

They are part of the Florida Mu­nic­i­pal So­lar Project, which con­sists of 16 elec­tric util­i­ties work­ing to­gether to cre­ate one of the largest mu­nic­i­pal-backed so­lar projects in the United States, and for most of these cities, their first so­lar project.

The two sites will pro­vide a clean, re­new­able en­ergy source to six Florida cities: Or­lando, Kis­sim­mee, Ocala, Fort

Pierce, Jack­sonville Beach and Key West.

“This is one of the most eco­nom­i­cal ways to pro­vide cus­tomers with clean en­ergy,” said Ryan Dumas, a spokesman for the Florida Mu­nic­i­pal Power Agency. “For many cities, they couldn’t do this on their own.”

The other three sites are pro­jected to be op­er­a­tional by 2023. Nearly 1.5 mil­lion so­lar pan­els will be in­stalled on about 2,450 acres, or about 1,856 foot­ball fields.

Win­ter Park, Mount Dora, New

JOE BURBANK/OR­LANDO SENTINEL

Project man­ager David Diaz walks among the ar­rays at the Florida Mu­nic­i­pal So­lar Project’s Har­mony So­lar En­ergy Cen­ter, near Holopaw in Osce­ola County, on Wed­nes­day.

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