Orlando Airport Gets its First Solar Energy Floating Panels

Orlando airport takes small steps toward solar power with a floating system.

The solar power project is the first major floating system in Florida and one of only a handful in the U.S. The project is being developed by Ciel & Terre, a French pioneer in the photovoltaics that is specialized in floating solar arrays for commercial, government, and non-profit institutions in collaboration with D3Energy of Florida,  a leading developer of floating solar systems in the United States. Ciel & Terre that has 60-megawatt of floating experience worldwide manufactured the Hydrelio HDPE-floats that hold the panels and wires.

Floating solar arrays compete with traditional ground systems in price, durability, and performance, according to officials at Orlando International Airport and Orlando Utilities Commission. The panels have been installed on top of a floating, plastic island in a large retention pond between the old terminal and the south terminal.

The floating solar system costs about $520,000. It is tied into a main, underground power line at the airport, producing enough power for about 14 homes.

The airport. one of the nation’s largest is comprised largely of wetlands. The nearly 20-acre retention pond that hosts the floating solar system is one of the dozens constructed in order to make the airport’s soggy real estate usable.

 For instance, the municipal electric utility and airport in Lakeland turned to solar power nearly a decade ago. The airport system produces enough electricity to power about 3,000 homes and businesses, and the city is planning an enormous expansion of output and the installation of battery storage by 2024.

According to Solar Power World.

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