Duke Energy has doubled its grant for a rooftop photovoltaic array and a storage system at USFSP to $1 million. The additional money will allow USFSP to expand the battery storage component of the project. The 100-kilowatt SunSense solar array consists of 328 solar panels on the roof of the parking garage. The panels will be arranged as a canopy so that the top floor of the garage remains available for parking.
Duke Energy is particularly interested in using the project to further its research in the storage of solar power. The problem for Duke Energy is that the peak demand times for power typically do not coincide with the times that solar energy is readily available, and storage is therefore crucial for the company.
We are of course most grateful to Duke Energy for this generous donation and look forward to working with the company on their research on solar power and new power storage solutions. It gives our students a great opportunity to conduct research on alternative and renewable energy.
More details about the project and how it fits into USFSP’s plans is available from the Tampa Bay Tribune at http://tbo.com/news/education/usf-st-pete-gets-double-money-expected-for-solar-project-20140915/.