A sizeable breakthrough solar array with utility and research capabilities was installed and recently unveiled at Florida International University’s (FIU) College of Engineering and Computing in Miami by FIU and Melbourne-based Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL).
With over 4,400 solar panels, the 1.4 megawatt installation not only will provide clean electricity — as well as shade from its canopy structure for a parking area — but also play a key part to help FPL develop solar energy throughout Florida.
"This research project builds on our long-standing relationship with FPL," Mark Rosenberg, FIU president, said. "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."
Faculty and students from FIU’s Energy, Power & Sustainability (EPS) program will join utility company researchers to evaluate data collected by the array and study its relationship to the state’s electric grid and variable climate to better understand solar power’s potential. In addition to research, EPS students will also conduct experiments onsite.
"Through this innovative partnership, we will continue to make our energy infrastructure even smarter," Eric Silagy, FPL president and CEO, said. “The faculty and students working on this project are contributing to our state's energy future — a future that includes more solar power."
College of Engineering and Computing interim dean Ranu Jung concurred, noting that the FIU-FPL partnership “helps prepare our students for addressing society's needs for renewable energy."
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