Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar today helped unveil a new photovoltaic (PV) project at Forest High School in Marion County. Chairman Edgar addressed students, teachers, and local dignitaries about the growing importance of renewable energy in the sunshine state and praised Florida’s SunSmart Schools Program.
"The SunSmart Schools Program provides students with a unique opportunity to explore and research viable alternative energy sources,” said Chairman Edgar. “The hands-on project at Forest High School will improve the students’ understanding of renewable energy technologies and highlight the importance of fuel diversity.”
The PV project is part of the SunSmart program, a statewide initiative for elementary, middle, high school, vocational, or college and university students to study PV systems with a curriculum administered by the Florida Solar Education Center (FSEC). Forest High students will track energy production from a PV system mounted on the school's roof and conduct scientific experiments based on the system's energy production.
As part of the project, the school receives the photovoltaic system, energy produced by the system, and the student-related curriculum. The school will also participate in a statewide database that monitors the PV production (http://www.energywhiz.com).
In December 2002, the Florida Legislature approved funding for SunSmart to purchase and install PV systems for up to 25 schools throughout the state directing FSEC to administer a curriculum and database to monitor the energy produced by the PV systems. The program combines state funding with private partnership to provide clean energy and science education.
Joining Chairman Edgar at Forest High School were high school principal Rick Lankford, Progress Energy Chief Executive Officer Jeff Lyash, Florida Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Jeff Prather and other dignitaries.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.