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Duke Energy Florida building its first floating solar project

The 1.1-MW solar facility is part of a $36 million contract that focused on energy resilience and security at Fort Bragg. The project is being paired with a 2-MW battery energy storage system. (Courtesy: Duke Energy)

Duke Energy Florida said that its first floating solar array pilot will begin construction in March in Polk County between Orlando and Tampa.

The nearly 1 MW floating solar array is expected to feature more than 1,800 floating solar modules and occupy around 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 state 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.”

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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 to complete.

The pilot is part of Duke Energy’s Vision Florida program, which is 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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