P.O Box 560272, Orlando, FL 32856-0272. Contact: Bill Young, 321-264-0514

The Florida Renewable Energy Association is the Florida Chapter of the American Solar Energy Society

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Orlando, September 22, 2013 – People love a tour of homes and businesses with unique and unusual features they offer. On Saturday, October 5, 2013, nine homes and businesses in the Orlando area will be participating in the 16th National Solar Tour being conducted by the American Solar Energy Society, which has arranged for one hundred Solar Tours to be conducted across the country. The Florida Renewable Energy Association, which is the Florida Chapter of the American Solar Energy Society, is conducting its annual local Solar Tour on that day (October 5) from noon to 4 PM.

Five local residents will showcase equipment installed on their homes to provide electricity, hot water and dry their clothes. Photovoltaic (solar electric) energy systems from 5 to 20 kilowatts provide part or all of the electricity for the homes. These utility grid-tied systems are net metered so when there is not enough sun, they buy electricity from the local utility, but when the sun is in full display, they sell excess solar electricity to the utility. Some homes have solar hot water systems instead of conventional gas or utility electric water heaters. The energy from the sun is free; therefore, the residents’ utility bills are less than usual or in some cases, zero!

Three homes have battery backup, so if the utility power is interrupted, the photovoltaic system still powers their homes.

Winter Springs High School is also on the tour, displaying their 10 kilowatt, battery backup photovoltaic system provided by the Florida Solar Energy Center, a research institute of the University of Central Florida. The system was funded by the Florida Energy Office and the U.S. Department of Energy to reduce daily electricity costs to the school and to serve as a learning resource. The system is connected to the emergency shelter part of the school to provide minimal essential power during a power outage, such as during a hurricane.

In addition, there are three businesses on the solar tour, including The Orlando Utilities Commission (The Reliable One), the major sponsor of the local event, displaying their photovoltaic system at the Reliable Plaza downtown office. Harris Civil Engineering and Cool Stuff systems are also on display. Businesses benefit from the investment in a photovoltaic system by reducing commercial electrical costs and helping the environment through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Information on this self-guided tour can be obtained from the National Solar Tour Webpage at http://www.ases.org/solar-tour/ and the Florida Renewable Energy Association Webpage at www.cleanenergyflorida.org or by calling Bill Young at 321-264-0514.

The 2013 Central Florida Solar Tour Sites

Saturday, October 5, 2013, from noon until 4:00 p.m.

OUC Reliable Plaza (OUC downtown office complex), 100 West Anderson Street, Orlando, FL 32801

Harris Civil Engineers, 1200 Hillcrest Street, Orlando, FL 32803

Winter Springs High School, 130 Tuskawilla Road, Winter Springs, FL 32708

Cool Stuff, 8550 South Highway 17-92, Maitland, FL 32751

Stonerock residence, 1306 Woodland Street, Orlando, FL 32806

Yelland residence, 12605 Kirby Smith Road, Orlando, FL 32832

Figueroa residence, 7330 Woodbriar Court, Orlando, FL 32835

Carlson-Despang residence, 1818 Carrigan Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789

Rasche residence, 702 East Amelia Street, Orlando, FL 32803