Duke Energy Launches First Floating Solar Project in Florida
Utilizing bifacial solar panels that absorb light from both sides, the system can produce 10 percent to 20 percent more power than its single-sided counterparts.
December 19, 2023. By Abha Rustagi
The nearly 1-megawatt floating solar array comprises over 1,800 solar panels situated on a 2-acre water surface within an existing cooling pond at the Duke Energy Hines Energy Complex in Bartow. Utilizing bifacial solar panels that absorb light from both sides, the system can produce 10 percent to 20 percent more power than its single-sided counterparts.
Constructed over approximately six months, the module floating system was assembled on land in segments before being anchored in the water. The project is a crucial component of Duke Energy's Vision Florida program, aimed at testing innovative initiatives, including green hydrogen production and various battery energy storage technologies, to prepare the power grid for a cleaner energy future.
Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida State President, expressed the company's commitment and said, “We are committed to building a smarter, cleaner energy future for our customers while continuing to look for ways to maintain affordability and reliability.”
Having been at the forefront of solar technologies in Florida since the late 1980s, Duke Energy plans to operate 25 grid-tied solar power plants by 2024, providing about 1,500 MW of emission-free generation. This substantial investment in solar infrastructure aims to benefit all 1.9 million Florida customers.
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