Leaders Break Ground on 120-Acre Solar Farm in Tallahassee
Today, while the sun was at its peak, more than a hundred community members gathered in an open field on Tallahassee International Airport (TLH) property to join leaders with the City of Tallahassee and Origis Energy to break ground on a new 20 megawatt (MW) solar farm. Once complete, the 120-acre solar farm will be capable of producing 37 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity each year – enough to power 3,400 homes and businesses in the Sunshine State’s capital.
“As Florida’s Capital City, we are thrilled to harness the Sunshine State’s most renewable energy source for our community’s use,” Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum said. “Offering Tallahassee residents the ability to customize their participation in our solar program is an innovative way to keep our City Utility among the best in the nation and ensure we are preserving our energy resources for years to come.”
Approximately 90,000 photovoltaic solar panels will make up the farm, which will be constructed and operated by Origis Energy. When completed this fall, the solar farm will be one of the largest in Florida.
“The vision, professionalism and strategic consideration the City utility and leadership have shown throughout the development process has been truly inspiring,” said Johan Vanhee, managing director of operations and business development for Origis Energy USA. Vanhee, who spoke at the groundbreaking event, went on to say, “The City of Tallahassee leads the state of Florida in solar development. This includes their use of solar as a clean energy source and their innovative Tallahassee Solar subscription program.”
Energy produced by the solar farm will feed into the City’s electric grid. Customers who wish to participate in Tallahassee Solar, the City’s new solar program, will be able to do so beginning on Thursday, June 1. Tallahassee Solar allows residential, small- and medium-sized commercial customers the opportunity to customize their participation level in the program at 25, 50 or 100 percent.
“This program represents a collaborative effort among our City government, citizens and private organizations,” said Steve Urse, member of Sustainable Tallahassee and the City’s Utilities Citizen Advisory Committee. “It provides us with access to solar energy without the up-front costs of installing solar panels, which is key in encouraging more and more people to use clean, renewable energy. Tallahassee Solar is a win for our community.”
Earlier this year, the Tallahassee City Commission approved staff to move forward with planning a second solar farm, which will further increase solar production. The second 40 MW solar farm is expected to produce enough solar energy to power an additional 6,800 homes and businesses.
To learn more about Tallahassee Solar, visit Talgov.com/Solar or call (850) 891-4968.
About the City of Tallahassee
Tallahassee is the capital of Florida – the Sunshine State. As an organization, the City of Tallahassee is one that remembers its past while focusing on the future. The City cherishes its natural environment, while ensuring economic opportunities for all citizens. As a responsive government, it provides excellent services and facilities that support a high quality of life for its community members.
The City of Tallahassee is recognized nationally for its progressive policies and programs. Among its many honors, the City has won the coveted All-America City Award from the National Civic League twice – most recently in 2015.
About Origis Energy
Origis Energy is Powering the Solar RevolutionSM with custom clean energy solutions for utility, commercial and public sector clients. The Origis team has worked to ensure the interests of all stakeholders are upheld in more than 100 projects worldwide totaling 600+ megawatts to date of developed solar capacity. Headquartered in Miami, Origis Energy USA delivers excellence in solar project development, financing, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operations, maintenance and asset management for investors and clean energy consumers across Europe and the Americas. For more information, visit the company online at www.origisenergy.com.
Alison Faris, City of Tallahassee Communications Department, (850) 891-8533; or Glenna Wiseman, Origis Energy Marketing and Communications, (786) 693-2624