Florida A&M, electric utility form partnership to build huge solar power plant

March 14, 2019
The university is partnering with Duke Energy Florida to build a facility on 600 to 800 acres at the school's Brooksville Agricultural and Environmental Research Station.

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Board of Trustees has approved a partnership with Duke Energy Florida to build a solar energy facility consisting of about 270,000 photovoltaic panels.

The university says Duke Energy’s Rattler Solar Power Plant could add 74.9 megawatts of renewable energy to the grid and help further the development and research of solar technologies.

The 25-year lease agreement will provide a new, long-term revenue source for the university at its Brooksville Agricultural and Environmental Research Station along with training and educational opportunities for students and community members.

The solar facility will occupy between 600 and 800 acres of property, the university says.

“Making this land available to Duke Energy allows FAMU to accomplish two central objectives: generating revenue for student education and offering the county an alternative source of clean energy,” says FAMU President Larry Robinson.

Once operational, the facility will generate enough electricity at peak production to power 23,000 average-sized homes. All the electricity created from the project will be fed onto the Duke Energy Florida electric grid and delivered to homes, businesses, schools, places of worship and other customers in the area.

The university will benefit financially and academically by establishing a new revenue source from lease payments and by creating hands-on experiences for students at a utility-scale solar power plant connected to the grid.

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