Duke Energy begins construction on floating solar pilot

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Florida Construction News staff writer

Duke Energy will begin construction later this month on its first floating solar pilot in St. Petersburg, a pilot project that will feature more than 1,800 floating solar modules, providing even more clean, carbon-free energy.

The almost one-megawatt floating solar array will feature more than 1,800 floating solar modules and occupy approximately 2 acres of water surface on an existing cooling pond at the Duke Energy Hines Energy Complex in Bartow.

“We’re excited to get hands-on experience with Duke Energy Florida’s first floating solar project at one of our own power plant sites,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida president. “Unique pilots like floating solar are helping us better understand the capabilities of innovative clean energy technologies that can benefit our Florida customers and communities now and in the future.”

Crews will construct and assemble the module floating system on land in segments before securing it with anchors in the water. The project will take approximately five to six months.

The pilot is part of the Vision Florida program designed to test innovative projects such as microgrids and battery energy storage, among others, to prepare the power grid for a clean energy future.

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