St. Cloud City Hall goes solar

Photovoltaic panels installed on building's roof

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ST. CLOUD, Fla. - You may not see them from the street, but St. Cloud City Hall is now sporting  rooftop photovoltaic panels on its roof.

The city of St. Cloud announced the completion of the project this week.

To celebrate the completion, a Green Day Celebration and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony are scheduled for Aug. 1 at City Hall. The public is invited to attend and learn about solar energy.

The PV systems were installed by AAA Solar Source on the rooftops of two St. Cloud buildings -- City Hall and Joint Use Facility.  A total of 377 panels were installed with a total rated output of 90 kilowatts (kW) for both buildings.

The system includes a Solar Education Center in City Hall, Building A, first level. The center features real-time interactive monitoring of power output and energy savings, carbon dioxide prevention, and other impacts of solar energy production.

The $435,000 installation project was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

"This is a standard solar/electric system (tried-and-true technology), but one of the most unique features is that it is one of the few ballasted systems in Florida, meaning that it meets hurricane wind load without penetrating the roof," said AAA Solar Source Vice President Rick Gilbert. "The system collects solar energy, about five and a half hours of sunlight on an average day, depending on the time of the year.

The system is grid-connected, which makes it eligible for a 5-cent credit from OUC for each kilowatt hour produced.

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