Florida Utility and University Announce Solar Partnership

Florida solar canopiesFlorida Power & Light Co. plans to build 23 canopy-like structures with solar panels over about 600 parking spaces at Florida International University’s Engineering Center. The company plans to use the canopies to study the distribution of solar energy from commercial-scale arrays to the grid.

The project will cost $7 million and will include over 5,700 solar panels covering an area of 342,000 square feet. Students and faculty from FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing will study the array, which will be able to produce up to 1.6 megawatts of solar energy. They will study how clouds, thunderstorms, and other weather changes affect energy production and distribution.

Florida produces less solar energy than many other states. Less than 1 percent of FPL’s energy is generated from the sun.

FPL, which is the largest utility company in the state, recently announced that it plans to invest $400 million to triple its solar capacity. It will add almost 225 megawatts of energy at three solar farms in rural areas by 2017. FPL also announced that it plans to construct a $7 million solar canopy at the Daytona International Speedway. The company is expanding in part because the cost of solar panels has fallen significantly in recent years.

Some people believe that FPL and other electric companies have stopped residents from buying electricity from producers other than utilities to block the development of solar energy. A coalition called Floridians for Solar Choice is trying to gather 700,000 signatures to have voters decide in 2016 whether to allow people to buy solar energy from non-utility producers. Florida is one of just five states that ban the practice.

RBI Solar Receives Approval for Solar Canopy

RBI Solar, Inc. has received approval from the California Division of State Architect on a Pre-Check solar carport structure design. The approval includes several canopy configurations to provide its clients with design flexibility. RBI made the move to create a more cost-effective solar racking structure. The structural plan review process is typically lengthy, which can […]

College Student Lives in Hut in the Woods

Dylan Miller, a 22-year-old English and philosophy major at Juniata College in Pennsylvania, decided that for his senior project in simple living he wanted to emulate Thoreau. He built a 17-foot-square, 9-foot-high hut in the woods from fallen trees and used leaves as insulation and a tarp for a roof. The interior of the hut […]

Google Unveils Plans for Movable Buildings and Glass Canopies

Google announced plans to radically redesign its main campus in Mountain View, California with movable buildings and translucent solar canopies. The project was designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels of BIG and Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio in London. Google wants to use lightweight block structures in place of traditional buildings. Large translucent glass canopies […]

Restored Canopy Nominated for Prestigious Award

A historic canopy in Manchester, England was in a state of disrepair and close to collapse, but it has been restored and is now in the running for a prestigious award. The Edwardian canopy of the Lapwing Lane Arcade in West Didsbury was built in 1913 above a series of shops and cafes. It was […]

Sun Life Stadium Renovations Include New Canopy and Other Upgrades

The Miami Dolphins’ Sun Life Stadium is currently in the midst of a $350 million renovation project that the team hopes will help it in future bids to host the Super Bowl. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, team officials, and politicians led a tour of the 28-year-old stadium on January 16 to show off the progress […]

Artist Creates Glittering Canopy for New York Park

Fata Morgana, a major public art installation created by renowned artist Teresita Fernandez, will be on display in New York’s Madison Square Park from April 30, 2015 to January 10, 2016. The installation is a 500-foot long sculpture in six pieces made from gold, mirror-polished discs that are installed horizontally above the heads of park […]

L.L. Bean Creates Handbags from Fenway Tarp

Outdoor retailer L.L. Bean is introducing new limited edition handbags for Boston Red Sox fans. The one-of-a-kind tote and boat bags are fashioned out of the rain-delay tarp that protected the Fenway Park infield from rain during the Boston Red Sox 2013 season. The bags have red handles that feature the dates of every Red […]