OUC recently completed the addition of new solar energy test site on the south side of the Pershing Operations Center – and it looks much different than what we are used to seeing.

The site allows us to study a variety of solar panels to determine the best ones for use in Central Florida. As we increase our renewable energy portfolio, the site will help us make the best decisions with the best technology available.

The team is using five different types of panels, including bifacial (meaning they can get solar energy from the front and the back), and placing them at various angles. Working in conjunction with the Florida Solar Energy Center and UCF, our experts will gather data about production based on the size, shape and location of the panels and will compare it to weather data from an onsite meteorological station.

“We are going to be alternating different types, sizes and locations of solar panels somewhat often,” Rubin York, Emerging Technologies Engineer said. “We are able to move the support beams up and down to test different angles towards the sun and this will provide very valuable data which we share with our partners. The data will be used to determine ways to make the most efficient new solar farms in the future.”

The site is expected to also supply around 31,000 watts to the grid – the same as the floating solar array at Gardenia.