ORLANDO, Fla. – The largest private solar plant in Florida went online today.
But the 1.1 million watt plant is not in a field.
It's on the roof of Darden Restaurants Inc.'s headquarters/restaurant support center near John Young Parkway and Taft-Vineland Road in South Orange County.
The Solar arrary creates a canopy over the four-story parking garage and stretches to part of the roof of the main building
The $152 million headquarters was built without solar in 2009, but Darden says costs have falled so far since then it became practical to add it at a cost of $5.6 million.
The project to install the 4,404 panels started in September. it should generate 1.9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. That's enough power for 160 homes and will provide 20 percent of the building's power needs.
Progress Energy awarded Darden a conservation rebate of $260,000.