Taking Advantage of the Sun
In times where the US is seeking energy independence to avoid the rising price of fuel, Osceola County and the City of St. Cloud are doing their part to reach these goals. As part of a $2.36 million dollar grant funded by the US Department of Energy and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Osceola County, in partnership with the City of St. Cloud, installed a 59 kilowatt (kW) photo-voltaic (PV) system on the City of St. Cloud City Hall rooftop and a 31 kW PV system on the City’s Joint Use Facility rooftop. In less than five months AAA Solar Source, a solar contractor based out of Largo, Florida, installed 377 panels on the roofs at both facilities which produce a total output of 90 kilowatts (kW). All solar panels were officially certified by the Florida Solar Energy Center, a Solar Research Center based out of Cocoa, Florida. A Solar Education Center is located within the City Hall, Building A on the first level featuring real-time interactive monitoring of power output and energy savings, carbon dioxide prevention, and other impacts of solar energy production. This project is bringing renewable solar energy and realized costs savings to the City and County.
Here are additional fun facts and features about the PV systems:
- All the products were purchased in the United States of America
- Meets hurricane wind load demands
- Collects approximately 5 hours of sunlight a day
- Maintenance free
- Eligible for a 5-cent credit from OUC – The Reliable One for each kW produced
In August 2012, the City of St. Cloud held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the City Hall building to celebrate the completion of these two successful projects.