The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Stanton Solar Array Performing Above Expectations

On Monday under the beating sun, about 30 POWER-GEN and Renewable Energy World attendees toured the 5.9-MW Stanton Solar Array in east Orange County. Jennifer Szaro, Renewables Manager with the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), was on hand to answer questions and offer specifics about the project.

Szaro said the project, which has been producing energy for two years now, is performing at 105 percent of expectations, something that OUC is quite pleased about.  She said its higher-than-expected performance could be due to a number of factors including the project design, better than average weather for solar and careful monitoring.  “I think having someone local [to address performance issues] greatly reduces downtime,” she said.

In its two short years of existence, the farm has survived two severe storms, withstanding winds up to 70 miles per hour. When the anemometer (left) detects winds of more than 40 miles per hours for more than 10 seconds the panels move into a “stow” position, meaning that they lie totally flat so they don’t blow away.  Under normal circumstances, the panels track the sun all day long.

The Stanton Solar Farm is comprised of 25,172 Yingli solar panels, SMA 500-kW inverters and a monitoring system from Draker.  For OUC's next project, Szaro anticipates using 1,000 Volt transformers, which were not available in OUC's territory when Stanton Solar was built.

Speaking of additional solar projects in Florida, OUC has just completed a 400-kW community solar project that has 39 subscribers. With community solar, a central solar array, sometimes called a “solar garden” is built and members of the community own shares in it so that they can receive all the benefits of having solar without actually putting anything on their roofs. Szaro said that the project was fully subscribed after 6 days and that she now has a waiting list of other customers who want a share in a solar farm.  OUC expects to start work on a 500-kW community array soon and will release its Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) at the end of November.

Duke Energy owns the project and sells power to OUC under a 20-year PPA. Duke officially began self-operation of the project last month, which means that Duke itself, instead of a third-party contractor, officially performs all monitoring and O&M. Mike Butler, Solar Manager at Duke Energy Renewables, said the utility’s ability to monitor and maintain the system is excellent and surpasses those of other third-party O&M providers.  He expects to see more utilities bringing O&M in house for solar projects as the solar industry evolves. For example, “corporate EHS support is a tremendous value to us but O&M providers aren’t always that receptive to that level of oversight,” he explained.

Duke currently has several solar projects in development.

RELATED ARTICLES

Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...
UK Parliament Clean Energy Leaders

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energ...
Microgrids

Coast to Coast and Across the Electric System, Microgrids Provide Benefits to All

Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund At the most obvious level, microgrids could disrupt today’s utilities and their regulated-monopoly business model, because they challenge the centralized paradigm. In a nutshell, microgrids are localized power grids that ha...
Jennifer Runyon is chief editor of RenewableEnergyWorld.com and Renewable Energy World magazine, coordinating, writing and/or editing columns, features, news stories and blogs for the publications. She also serves as conference chair of Renewable ...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

03/01/2015
Volume 18, Issue 3
file

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

EU PVSEC 2015 (European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition)

The EU PVSEC is the largest international Conference for Photovoltaic re...

Sponsor/Exhibitor: MIREC Week 2015

Solectria, Pillar, and Variadores together are co-Silver Sponsors! Come ...

More Power, More Profit Tour - San Diego

Register for the SMA More Power, More Profit Tour for free, in-person sa...

COMPANY BLOGS

EU PVSEC 2014: Call for Papers Receives Great Response

More than 1,500 contributions apply for presentation in AmsterdamScienti...

EU PVSEC 2014 extends its Scope

Added focus on application and policy topicsAbstracts for conference con...

Boulder County Residents Generate Their Own Energy with Community S...

Despite a soggy afternoon, solar energy advocates gathered at ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS