St. Petersburg College has been selected Duke Energy Florida’s 2013 SunSense Schools Post Secondary School Award. The energy company will fund the college’s proposal for up to a 100 kW photovoltaic array project and its related educational outreach efforts.
SPC is the first state college in Florida to be selected for the award. Other postsecondary recipients in previous years include the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida.
Duke Energy made the announcement on Monday, June 3.
Rather than one 100 kW array, the college decided to install two solar photovoltaic arrays in order to maximize exposure, said Diana Wright, Director of Facilities Services. At the Clearwater Campus, the grant will pay to erect a parking structure upon which a 43 kW array will be installed. At the Seminole Campus, a 57 kW array will be a ground-mounted, free-standing structure.
The new systems will serve as educational and research tools that will also help offset the energy costs of each campus.
“The Facilities department is excited to start construction on a project that will increase community awareness, contribute to the environment through sustainable practices and also increase student exposure to new technology right in our own backyard,” Wright said.
“Duke Energy has a balanced approach to meeting the energy needs of Florida’s consumers in a cost-effective, reliable manner,” Joseph Pietrzak, Senior Program Manager for Duke Energy Florida, said in the letter. “The balanced approach includes energy-efficiency, renewable energy technologies, and state-of-the-art power systems. Through the SunSense program, this 100 kW solar project at St. Petersburg College is playing a key role in our efforts to educate our customers on renewable energy production.”
Duke Energy will award the college up to $515,803 to cover project’s installations and other related educational outreach costs.