Florida A&M University, Duke Energy Sign Deal for 74.9-MW Solar Facility

by | Mar 8, 2019

Florida A&M University, Duke Energy Sign Deal for 74.9-MW Solar Facility

(Photo Credit: Florida A&M University)

Florida A&M University’s board of trustees has approved a partnership with Duke Energy Florida to construct a solar facility. The new solar plant is expected to add nearly 75 megawatts of energy to the grid at the university’s Brooksville Agricultural and Environmental Research Station (BAERS).

The board signed off on a 25-year lease agreement with Duke Energy Florida. It includes a due diligence period for site investigation and permitting before construction starts on the solar project, the university says.

When completed, the solar facility on 600 to 800 acres of property will have around 270,000 tracking solar panels. FAMU says that Duke Energy’s Rattler Solar Power Plant could add 74.9 MW megawatts of renewable power to the grid at BAERS. All the electricity generated will go into the Duke Energy Florida electric grid and get delivered to homes, businesses, schools, places of worship, and other area customers, according to the university.

“Making this land available to Duke Energy allows FAMU to accomplish two central objectives: generating revenue for student education and offering the county an alternative source of clean energy,” said Larry Robinson, the university’s president.

The solar farm would represent a small part of the school’s 3,800-acre Brooksville site, which the university received from the US Department of Agriculture, WUSF Public Media reported.

The Tallahassee Democrat noted this week that Duke Energy will pay FAMU $17.4 million for 600 acres, $20.3 million for 700 acres, and $23.2 million for the full 800 acres under the 25-year agreement.

Trustees approved the agreement on Thursday.

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