The Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) has approved a plan to add 149 MW of solar power to its generation portfolio, doubling its current efforts.
The additional solar capacity would provide enough energy to power 27,000 residential customers. OUC provides electric and water services to more than 400,000 customer accounts in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties in Florida.
At their monthly meeting, commissioners gave OUC the go-ahead to negotiate two separate 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Invenergy.
Under the proposed PPAs, Invenergy would build and operate two 74.5 MW solar arrays, each covering 500 acres, near existing OUC transmission lines in Osceola County. The arrays would come online in 2022 and 2023. OUC also plans to test battery storage as backup generation when cloud cover or nightfall inhibit solar power production.
“As Orlando has grown and transformed over the years, so has OUC. And now, OUC is powering the rapid growth of our community with clean, renewable energy and innovative storage technologies,” says Clint Bullock, OUC’s general manager and CEO.
Coupled with 108.5 MW of solar scheduled to come online next year, the proposed PPAs would make OUC the largest user of solar energy in Florida on a watt-per-customer basis, according to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.