Duke Energy Florida announced that its first floating solar array pilot will begin construction later this month in Polk County.
The almost 1-megawatt floating solar array will feature more than 1,800 floating solar modules and occupy approximately 2 acres of water surface on an existing cooling pond at the Duke Energy Hines Energy Complex in Bartow.
“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,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president.
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.
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.
Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns 10,500 megawatts of energy capacity, supplying electricity to 1.9 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida.
Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., has electric utilities serving 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky.
Duke Energy has interim carbon emission targets of at least 50 percent reduction from electric generation by 2030, 50 percent for Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 upstream and downstream emissions by 2035, and 80 percent from electric generation by 2040.