The City of Orlando is a mannequin for different cities pursuing a transition to scrub energy. SACE highlights lively steps Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) is taking to ship on this dedication.

Bryan Jacob and Brady Watson | January 27, 2020 | Climate Change, Florida, Solar, Utilities

Last week, WMFE-NPR (90.7 FM) aired a segment masking the City of Orlando’s pursuit of an formidable 100% Renewable Energy Resolution. The decision calls for all electrical energy consumed within the metropolis to return from renewable energy sources by the yr 2050.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) had beforehand recognized the City of Orlando as an example for different cities to observe when making 100% Clean Energy commitments.  For this radio phase, we emphasised that the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), self-proclaimed as “The Reliable One”, is certainly making real strides towards its clear energy future.

Early Adopter of Clean Energy

The City of Orlando deserves credit score as an early adopter on this area. They had ALREADY dedicated to a greenhouse gasoline discount goal aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement (90% discount 2007-2040). And they’d ALREADY dedicated “to powering 100% of municipal operations utilizing clear, renewable energy sources by 2030.”

Then, in August 2017, the City Council voted to EXPAND that dedication to the whole City by 2050. The City’s 100% Renewable Energy Resolution states it is going to:

“…Expand on [its] commitments, in cooperation with different native governments, non-public organizations, and people, to realize 100% of all electrical energy consumed within the City of Orlando to return from renewable energy sources and related applied sciences by the yr 2050.

The Orlando Science Center options solar panels on its roof.

Making Reliable Progress

Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) is the municipal utility owned by the residents of Orlando and serves roughly 240,000 clients in Orlando and St. Cloud together with elements of Orange and Osceola counties.

OUC earned the designation as one of seven “SunRisers” in the SACE “Solar in the Southeast” 2018 Annual Report. SunRisers are the utilities demonstrating main ranges of deliberate solar progress. OUC is the “anchor tenant” in three utility-scale solar projects commissioned by the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA). In complete, these initiatives signify 223.5 MW of solar and the OUC share shall be 108.5 MW. That alone earned SunRiser standing, however…

Since then, OUC has commissioned two more solar projects representing a further 149 MW, sufficient to power greater than 13,000 properties. Mathematically, that might propel OUC to the highest of our “Watts per Customer” leaderboard.

As a part of that bundle, OUC can also be putting in a groundbreaking hydrogen storage system. “Hydrogen will be stored for use in fuel cell electric vehicles or in stationary fuel cells for later electricity production.”

OUC is implementing grid-connected Lithium-ion batteries, as nicely. Battery storage gives an array of advantages and, particularly, helps to easy the variable output of energy sources like solar.

In addition to the centralized battery storage programs, OUC has additionally instituted a $2000 rebate for residential clients who set up battery storage as a complement to their residence solar photovoltaic programs. Battery storage affords resilience as a backup supply throughout power outages.

OUC was the second utility within the nation to put in solar on top of a coal ash landfill as reported by Orlando Sentinel in 2016.

Since 2017, OUC has been experimenting with floating solar.

Since 2017, OUC has been experimenting with floating solar. Its preliminary pilot check is comparatively small, 31.5 kilowatt (kW), however might have nice potential with so many lakes, impoundments, and retention ponds within the space.

At this level, it’s not doable to know all the extra steps that shall be needed to realize 100% clear energy by 2050. But these initiatives are all testaments to OUC’s already robust dedication to renewable energy, and can really increase the bar for utilities within the Southeast for years to return.

Read about other SunRisers in the Southeast here.

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