OUC unveils Orange County's largest solar farm

By: Jason Kelly


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The Orlando Utilities Commission on Monday dedicated a new solar farm in east Orange County to its general manager and CEO, who will retire in February after 32 years with the public utility.

The Kenneth P. Ksionek Community Solar Farm -- the county's largest solar array -- was built at the Stanton Energy Center, near Innovation Way and South Alafaya Trail.

The 24-acre array was built atop a byproduct landfill on land once designated for a future coal plant. It comprises 37,544 solar panels, which are capable of generating almost 13 megawatts of energy per year -- enough to power 2,100 homes.

Photos: Orange County solar farm

Watch drone footage of the solar farm below:

Read: Want solar panels? You still have to pay Florida utilities

Ksionek, who has spent 14 years as OUC's CEO, began his career building the facility's coal units.

During Monday's ceremony, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced that the City of Orlando will use about 37 percent of the array, which will produce almost 5 megawatts of solar energy per year -- enough energy to power City Hall and the city's 17 fire stations.

By 2030, the city aims to have all municipal electricity come from renewable sources.

Read: 9 Investigates: Solar energy debate casts shade on Sunshine State

Watch time-lapse footage of the solar farm's construction below:

Read: Action 9: Consumers burned by solar energy company

The subscription will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 6 tons and prevent almost 3 tons of coal from being burned, Dyer said.

The remaining energy will be sold to OUC's customers.

A third party will own and operate the site for at least 20 years.

Read: Jimmy Carter leases his land to solar power his hometown

Next Up: