Florida university’s solar panel system takes nature into account

Florida Gulf Coast University has activated the nation’s largest university-sited solar panel array, the Naples Daily News reported this week.

The installation generates 2 megawatts of electricity at peak; it comprises 10,080 panels on 16 acres. "It’s now providing electricity to over 200,000 square feet of space," university president Wilson Bradshaw was quoted as saying. "We’re really pleased," he added.

Students interviewed by the newspaper reported interest in the project but said they knew little about it. "If you’re not in student government, [you] don’t talk about it," public relations major Christina Bockisch said. Tours of the site are in the works and will commence after the array is fully calibrated.

Bockisch suggested that students were well-informed about the number of trees cut down to make room for the panels. University officials were careful to move plants and animals on the 20-acre solar site, the Daily News reported.

Concerns about wildlife derailed some solar projects in California’s Mojave Desert, the New York Times revealed this week. Senator Dianne Feinstein moved to legislate against solar development on protected lands in the Mojave, citing concerns about flora, fauna and desert vistas. "I strongly believe that conservation, renewable energy development and recreation can and must co-exist in the California desert," she said.
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Author: Nate Lew

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Posted in: Solar Energy

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