JEA plans to build 12.7 megawatt (MW) solar farm in Jacksonville, Florida. The solar farm will be operational in 2010 and will be capable of providing power to 2,700 homes. The new solar farm will be a small component of JEA's overall grid.
Several years a go, there was quite a bit of encouragement from the state to find renewables and to find other ways to produce electricity besides coal, JEA Spokeswoman Gerri Boyce said.
John Algier, an engineer at Alternate Energy Technologies, warned that solar power is not ideal, yet.
There more developments and a lot of money going into trying to improve the efficiency, but it’s still a low-efficient operation, Algier said.
It could take 100 acres of solar panels to produce a relatively small amount of power, and coal is about eight times cheaper.
The expansion of clean energy is a large part of the country’s plan to reduce carbon emission and create green jobs, but Jacksonville will not receive any federal support for this project. The city is purchasing the power from a private company, which it said would cuts costs.
They build the plant. They get the incentive to build the plant. We purchase the power from the plant, Boyce said.
The company said that the change would not have a minimal effect on consumers bills.
On a typical day like today, we may be at 1,300 megawatts. When you’re looking at the winter, it’s probably 3,000 megawatts, Boyce explained.