Greentech Lead America: Fort Lauderdale’s Community
Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has approved a $5,700 contract to renovate US Solar
Institute’s campus (USSI).
The improvements will include a new classroom, rooftop
teaching lab, new sidewalk, solar-powered street lighting, permeable parking
lot, and rain water capture cistern for USSI’s organic garden.
The extra funding enables USSI to install a wind turbine —
both for instructional purposes and to further enhance its status as downtown
Fort Lauderdale’s first commercial net-positive energy building.
Urbanform Design Group, an architectural firm with focus on
renewable energy, is undertaking these renovations.
“Having local architects with long ties to Fort
Lauderdale’s renewable energy market is a great fit. Their passion and
commitment to the success of the project was felt from our first meeting,”
said Ray Johnson, lead instructor and USSI President.
Earlier in 2012, the CRA donated $7,500 to help USSI repair
its main building after damage from Hurricane Wilma. In previous years,
however, the school had largely been ignored — even when the Broward County
School system received over $3 million in DOL Recovery Act funds earmarked for
USSI has funded most of its own operations in the last three
years, moving into better facilities and training over 500 qualified solar PV
installers in the process.
US Solar Institute is licensed by the Florida Department of
Education to offer PV diplomas, the Florida Department of Businesses and
Professional Regulation, and the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board
as a continuing education provider. US Solar Institute is also a partner of
Underwriter Laboratories and a NABCEP PV Exam Provider.