Duke Energy Florida wins approval for Orlando solar power facility

The facility will occupy about 20 acres near World Drive and Epcot Center Drive at Walt Disney World Resort

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Duke Energy Florida won approval to build, own and operate a 5 MW solar power facility that will serve the Reedy Creek Improvement District near Orlando.

The Reedy Creek Improvement District Board of Supervisors voted to accept a 15-year power-purchase agreement with Duke Energy Florida Solar Solutions LLC, a subsidiary of Duke Energy Florida, to purchase solar energy from the facility.

Once constructed, all of the renewable energy from the facility will be sold to the district to meet its energy needs.

The facility will occupy about 20 acres near World Drive and Epcot Center Drive at Walt Disney World Resort.

Construction is expected to begin mid-summer with the facility to be in service by year-end.

The facility's 48,000 solar panels will be arranged in the shape of a Disney-inspired design.

"We are committed to working with customers to expand their use of renewable energy," said Alex Glenn, president, Duke Energy Florida. "This opportunity to serve the Reedy Creek Improvement District is another example of how we are meeting our customers' interests in renewable energy, while bringing more solar choices to Florida."

The solar facility for the Reedy Creek Improvement District is equivalent to about 1,000 typical residential solar rooftop systems.

Duke Energy Florida has taken several steps to advance solar technology in its service area.

In April, the company announced plans to build up to 500 MW of solar by 2024 as part of a 10-year plan.

It also has funded more than $8 million in solar photovoltaic system installations at nearly 50 K-12 schools and universities in Florida to generate electricity and help foster renewable energy education.

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