ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Jan. 12, 2011) Starting, January 17, Progress Energy Florida - will be accepting applications for participation in the utility's 2012 SunSense Schools solar energy program. Through the program, Progress Energy annually provides no-cost solar installations and battery backup systems to up to 10 primary and secondary schools serving as emergency shelters. The utility also provides a larger solar installation to one post-secondary institution per year. Interested schools can submit their applications through March 20.
Each participating school will receive a 10-kilowatt (kW) solar installation with battery backup valued at approximately $100,000, and each selected post-secondary school will receive a 100-kW solar array valued at more than $600,000. The electricity generated by the solar arrays will help offset the participating schools energy use.
"Progress Energy is committed to provide clean, reliable power, both now and in the future," said Rob Caldwell, vice president of efficiency and innovative technology for Progress Energy. "While we work to make critical resources available to a growing number of the state's emergency shelters, we're hopeful that some of the bright, young minds exposed to solar energy through our SunSense program will be inspired to become the innovators who determine how Florida's electricity needs will be met for decades to come."
Schools will be selected based on a number of factors, including their commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy education, maximum geographic distribution throughout Progress Energy's service territory, the number of students and the school's shelter capacity.
More information about the SunSense program and details on how schools can apply are available at progress-energy.com/sunsense.
To date, Progress Energy has installed solar arrays on and provided associated educational materials to 28 Florida schools through SunSense Schools and its predecessor programs.
The focus on schools serving as emergency shelters was part of a 2011 expansion to the utility's SunSense program. Other program components include incentives toward residential and commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. The expanded solar offerings will be in place through 2014.
Alternative energy technologies, such as those included in the SunSense program - combined with energy efficiency and state-of-the-art plants - collectively form the balanced solution strategy Progress Energy believes is necessary to best meet its customers' short- and long-term energy needs.
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art power system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit progress-energy.com.
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