Many know Orlando, Florida as a major vacation destination. After all, places like Walt Disney World Resort are widely known as being part of the American Dream. You know it as a popular tourist destination, but it is home to many people and businesses with a desire to help the environment. It is home to people who care. You might soon view Orlando in a different way as it works its way toward being a leader in clean energy. Can the city move away from carbon-based energy? It certainly looks that way!
Not many realize this, but roughly 72 percent – or just about 18,000 streetlights of the whopping 25,000 in Orlando – have been transformed to high-efficiency light-emitting diodes. A diode, for the record, is a semiconductor device).
If you look closely at the streetlights, you will see solar panels sitting on top of them to avoid using power from the electric grid. Ponds all over Orlando are collecting runoff from the oh-so-regular downpours which occur throughout the state. Look closely and you will see solar panels floating in the water – yes, floating solar panels.
Currently, officials are testing a system which would capture the carbon Orlando emits from power plants instead of releasing it into the air. Perhaps algae pools could play a part in Orlando’s quest to be cleaner and more environmentally-friendly.
Overall, a good amount of work is being done in Orlando to make the area more environmentally-friendly. Locals who drive past Walt Disney World – specifically EPCOT, might notice solar panels in the area. Even the world-famous theme parks are getting in on the action when it comes to solar power and clean energy.
Efforts are certainly being made in Orlando, FL to curtail the impact of climate change. Even if the federal government pulls back, Orlando can push forward. Roughly 300 cities in America (and counties) have endorsed the objectives set forth by the Paris climate agreement since last year, when President Trump publicized his intention to withdraw the USA from the agreement.
Chris Castro is Orlando’s director of sustainability, and he has made it clear that cities have to take the lead.
Clean Energy – A Picture of Orlando in 2050
It seems this sunny city is in good hands, as there is a goal to generate all energy from sources which are carbon-free by the year 2050. We are already seeing solar panels go up everywhere – consequently, we are seeing that locals care about clean energy.
Efforts being made by Orlando are going to come to light later in September at a climate conference taking place in San Francisco, California – the Global Climate Action Summit.
Of course, it is one thing to set goals – we all do this for the New Year, don’t we? Achieving goals is another story. But still, local governments throughout Florida are realizing the benefits of taking advantage of solar power and other forms of clean energy. Installing solar panels on rooftops and even in the water allows locals to benefit from one of the most natural resources that tourists and residents flock to FL for – the sun. Exploring the benefits offered by solar power and really diving into the different opportunities that solar offers can allow the city of Orlando – and even the state – to move away from carbon-based energy. Solar projects are proving to be beneficial financially, which of course is hugely important. Solar and other clean-energy sources can offer major cost-savings. For example, solar can save on electric costs. Renewable energy should ultimately be able to challenge the price of legacy fuels.
Florida Municipal Solar Project
The Florida Municipal Solar Project is going to bring solar power to municipalities across the state, including Orlando. In total, roughly 900,000 solar panels are going to be installed on different solar sites. The sites are going to take up the equivalent of hundreds of football fields – 900, to be precise. Imagine 900 football fields filled with solar panels. This is what the state of Florida is going to see. The sites are going to be built in Osceola and Orange counties. Orlando is part of Orange County, but if you have ever visited central Florida for vacation, you might have heard of Osceola, as this is home to Kissimmee, a popular place to stay for those looking for affordable accommodations while traveling.
What’s more, Florida is starting to see a new kind of tree pop up – solar trees! There are so many things going on in Orlando relevant to clean energy. Continue to follow solar news and stay tuned so you will be able to see how your favorite places are moving away from carbon-based energy.