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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Money-saving solar panels will be installed by end of November

UF received new solar panels that will act as a teaching aid for students while saving the university thousands of dollars a year.

Progress Energy Florida gave the university a 100-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array for free through the SunSense Schools solar energy program, which aims to provide renewable energy education to Florida students.

The solar panels will capture the sun’s rays and turn it into energy.

The system will generate 157,000 kilowatt-hours a year and will reduce electricity costs by $15,000 a year, said Robert Sumner, a spokesman for PEF.

This will allow the university to generate its own power and step away from other energies.

The system costs about $65,000 and will allow the university to generate its own power and step away from other nonrenewable energy.

The panels will be installed by Nov. 30 in three locations on campus.

They will be south of the Microbiology and Cell Science building, University of Florida’s Energy Research and Education Park and between the RinkerSchool of Building Construction and Broward Residential hall.

Anna Prizzia, director of UF Office of Sustainability, said this shows the university’s commitment to sustainability.

“It’s an opportunity to use a solar energy as a teaching tool in classes and research,” Prizzia said.

Rinker School of Building Construction students will learn how to install the units as if they were working for a solar construction company.

Allison Goldberg, a 19-year-old environmental geosciences sophomore, said she believes the campus is going in the right direction with the installation of the solar panels.

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“Everyone knows what solar panels look like, but not what they do,” she said. “The solar panels will show that the campus is changing.”

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