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Title: Orange County Government Solar Demonstration and Research Facility

Orange County Florida completed the construction of a 20 kilowatt Solar Demonstration and Research Facility in March 2015. The system was constructed at the Orange County/University of Florida Cooperative Extension Center whose electric service address is 6021 South Conway Road, Orlando, Florida 32802. The Solar Demonstration and Research Facility is comprised of 72 polycrystalline photovoltaic modules and 3 inverters which convert direct current from the solar panels to alternating current electricity. Each module produces 270 watts of direct current power, for a total canopy production of just under 20,000 watts. The solar modules were installed with a fixed tilt of 5 degrees and face south, toward the equator to maximize the amount of sunlight captures. Each year, the electricity generated by the solar array will help eliminate 20 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions as well as provide covered parking for staff and visitors vehicles. The solar array is expected to generate 27,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually equating to an estimated $266 savings in the monthly electric bill, or $3,180 annually for the Orange County/University of Florida Cooperative Extension Center. In addition to reducing the electric bill for the Extension Center, Orange County’s solar array also takes advantage ofmore » a rebate incentive offered by the local utility, Orlando Utility Commission, which provided a meter that measures the amount of power produced by the solar array. The local utility company’s Solar Photovoltaic Production Incentive will pay Orange County $0.05 per kilowatt hour for the power that is produced by the solar array. This incentive is provided in addition to Net Metering benefits, which is an effort to promote the use of clean, renewable energy on the electric grid. The Photovoltaic Solar Demonstration and Research Facility also serves an educational tool to the public; the solar array is tied directly into a data logger that provides real time power generation accessible for public viewing on an interactive kiosk located in the Orange County/University of Florida Cooperative Extension Center’s lobby where visitors can review “real time” power generation, cost savings and environmental benefits of the system. Site commissioning with the software program was delayed due to Internal Security Software issues within Orange County that needed to be resolved, therefore the “real time” capture of the production data for the solar array using the software program commenced on May 1, 2015. In addition an educational flyer was developed and is available in the Orange County Education Center’s main lobby. The project completed under this grant award assisted Orange County in demonstrating leadership by installing the application of a renewable energy technology combined with energy efficiency measures; resulting in reduced energy costs for the Orange County University of Florida Cooperative Extension Center, and helping Orange County citizens and visitors move towards the goals of greater energy independence and climate protection. The addition of the new Solar Demonstration and Research Facility has advanced the Orange County/University of Florida Cooperative Extension Center’s mission of extending, educating and providing research-based information to residents and visitors of Orange County by demonstrating the application of renewable energy technology combined with energy efficiency measures; resulting in reduced energy costs, and helping Orange County move towards the goal of greater energy independence and climate protection. In 2014, the Orange County Cooperative Extension Center hosted nearly 10,800 visitors to their on-site Exploration Gardens plus 12,686 walk-in visitors to their office plant clinic and other services. The Education Center held 2,217 educational events that were attended by 46,434 adults and youth, but about half of those events occurred off-site. Based on the visitation numbers in 2014 the Orange County Cooperative Extension Center Education is a vital partner to Orange County’s continued outreach and education efforts concerning renewable energy technologies and greenhouse gas emission reduction well in the current 2015 year and future years of operation of the solar array to the future visitors of the Center which help stimulate market demand that will continue to advance the commercialization and the widespread application and use of renewable energy technologies in Orange County and the state of Florida. The project period performance date for this grant was November 1, 2009 through March 1, 2015. The Final Project costs to complete the project as reported in the FINAL SF 425 were $195,512.50 (50% recipient cost share was satisfied as required by grant terms and conditions).« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Orange County Florida, Orlando, Florida (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1186786
Report Number(s):
DE--EE0000309-2 revision
DOE Contract Number:
EE0000309
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Orange County Florida, Orlando, Florida (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 25 ENERGY STORAGE; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION