2 solar farms , one in Harmony, send 108.5MW to grid
OUC – The Reliable One is adding 108.5 megawatts of green energy to its generation portfolio as two new solar farms begin operations.
OUC will draw all 74.5 megawatts of energy generated by the Taylor Creek Solar Energy Center in east Orange County and 34 megawatts from the 74.5-megawatt Harmony Solar Energy Center in St. Cloud.
The openings also mark a major milestone in OUC’s commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, with a near-term goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.
“This is a monumental event in OUC’s nearly 100-year history,” said Clint Bullock, general manager & CEO, referring to the solar farm openings. “We are on our way to becoming a leading solar energy provider on a watts-per-customer basis in Florida. In a few years, we will reach that goal as we expand our solar generation capacity. A cleaner, greener energy future begins here.”
OUC is planning to add an additional 149 megawatts of solar energy, bringing its total solar generation capacity to 270.5 megawatts – enough power for approximately 50,000 typical Florida homes.
OUC’s growth in solar energy generation was recently recognized by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) in its Solar in the Southeast annual report. For the second consecutive year, SACE gave OUC the “SunRiser” designation for being a leading solar energy provider in the Southeast, in terms of forecasted watts per customer.
In another related development, OUC expects to begin testing a cloud-tracking technology that could predict the impact of cloud coverage over the Taylor Creek and Harmony solar sites. Designed and built by University of Central Florida engineering students, the “sky cams” view clouds and gauge their altitude, density, direction and speed, plus predict how soon they’ll shade a solar farm. This innovation could help OUC anticipate momentary losses of solar power due to clouds, giving other power generation units time to fill the gaps.
The Taylor Creek and Harmony facilities house nearly 600,000 rotating solar panels. The two 750-acre solar farms are part of the Florida Municipal Solar Project and owned and operated by Florida Renewable Partners. OUC is the only municipal utility tied into Taylor Creek and one of six sharing Harmony.
About OUC—The Reliable One
Established in 1923 by a special act of the Florida Legislature, OUC—The Reliable One is the second largest municipal utility in Florida. OUC provides electric and water services to about 400,000 accounts in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties. Visit www.ouc.com to learn more about our commitment to reliability, affordability and sustainability.