Arcadia, FL, Oct. 30, 2015 – The Clearwater Student Chapter of the Florida Engineering Society (FES) traveled to Arcadia for a tour of Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) 25 Megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) solar facility which is located 10 miles north of Arcadia. The students, under the direction of professors John Williams and Carl Opper were treated to an in depth tour conducted by three FPL engineers, the director of media relations and a senior vice-president.
The basics of photovoltaics were presented along the operation, staffing and maintenance of the facility. After answering a wide range of questions from students and faculty, FPL representatives escorted the group to a third floor observation area to view approximately 10 football fields of solar panels (enough to service 3,000 homes).
In addition to learning about the Arcadia facility, FPL representatives presented plans for three additional 74 MW solar installations which have been approved by Florida’s Public Service Commission and are to be completed by 4th quarter 2016. The panels for the new installations will have an efficiency of 22%, compared to the 18% efficiency of the Arcadia facility. This was the 5th consecutive year that SPC students have participated in this unique educational event.