By: Jason Saab
Duke Energy awarded a one million dollar grant to USFSP to fund the building of solar panels and the research that will follow. The panels are built on the roof of the USFSP parking garage and will provide some shade to the seventh floor.
The panels will also be storing energy in a newly developed battery system that will provide data to the researchers about how this energy will work.They hope this will help promote the use of solar power as an energy source.
The team hopes that the data and research that they gain from the battery storage project will assist them in promoting and using the sun to help offset the growing need for energy in Florida, according to Joe Pietrzak, Dukes Senior Planning Analyst.
Supporters also hope it will bring plenty of publicity due to its size and visibility. Although the panels will only provide a fraction of the nineteen point one million kilowatt-hours of energy that USFSP uses per year, it will still be the largest solar array in St. Petersburg.