Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center Solar Project
View the real-time output of KEYS’ Solar Demonstration Unit
Keys Energy Services (KEYS) formed a partnership with the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to construct a solar demonstration in Key West.
The 26 kilowatt (AC) solar photovoltaic system is located at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center in Key West and began operation in spring 2010. An educational kiosk within the Center provides the public with information about renewable energy and energy conservation. The system is jointly owned by FMPA and NOAA and operated by KEYS.
PROJECT DEMONSTRATES “PEEL AND STICK” SOLAR TECHNOLOGY
This solar partnership supports the development of renewable generation technologies by demonstrating the use of an advanced solar photovoltaic technology.
This project uses a “peel and stick” solar system, which generates electricity with an innovative thin-film solar panel that is mounted to the rooftop using an adhesive material. The thin-film technology was selected as the best match for the Florida Keys’ unique environmental conditions. Other advantages include technology that captures the complete solar spectrum more efficiently, the ability to generate at low light levels, and its flexible and lightweight construction.
The project cost $235,928, with FMPA’s All-Requirements Project paying 62-percent and NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries paying 38-percent. KEYS, through an existing agreement with FMPA, will provide operation and maintenance support for the system.
SOLAR HELPS UTILITIES REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
Solar generation technology produces no emissions, helping Florida’s municipal electric utilities reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This demonstration project is part of FMPA’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions back to year-2000 levels by 2017.
INTERACTIVE KIOSK EDUCATES PUBLIC ABOUT SOLAR
Educating the public is a key element of this solar partnership. The Eco-Discovery Center prominently displays an interactive kiosk that provides information about global climate change and renewable generating technologies, as well as the role consumers can play in reducing energy consumption and supporting renewable generation.
The Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center in Key West features an exciting array of interactive exhibits, dioramas, and displays, including a 2,400 gallon aquarium, all highlighting the rich natural environment of the Florida Keys. The Center is free to the public and a must-see for Keys residents and visitors of all ages. The Center is located at 35 East Quay Road, in Truman Annex in Key West, across the street from the entrance to Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.