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BlueChip Energy connects Florida’s largest rooftop solar array

15 Sep 2011

US solar developer BlueChip Energy has connected Florida’s largest solar rooftop installation to the grid.

The 1.2MW installation is part of the planned 10MW Rinehart Solar Farm. The array spans the company’s 318,000 square foot corporate offices and solar module production facility in Lake Mary, Florida, is still growing.

An additional 800kW is under construction, bringing the rooftop installation’s total to 2MW, the company said.

Plans call for the Rinehart Solar Farm to generate the balance of 5MW of energy needed to power equipment for ASP’s 100MW capacity plant by the first quarter of 2012. Upon completion, the Rinehart Solar Farm is expected produce an estimated 15 million kWh per year. BCE also has an agreement with Progress Energy Florida for the purchase of energy generated from the solar farm.

Initially anticipating the addition of approximately 100 employment opportunities, the company has added more than 180 high-paying, high-skilled jobs while building local expertise in solar energy since 2009. On track to reach over 500 new jobs within two to three years and increase the size of their existing Seminole County facility, BCE is continuing to hire, centering its expansion in the areas of manufacturing as well as its development of utility scale solar farm projects in Central Florida.

BCE’s two flagship utility scale solar projects, the 10MW Rinehart Solar Farm and the 40MW Sorrento Solar Farm, are approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as self-certified small power production facilities, requiring the local utility to provide interconnection to them and purchase the electricity they produce.

Additionally, both solar farms are approved to operate as exempt wholesale generators, providing the facilities with undisputed access to the power distribution network. FERC granted the company market-based rate authorisation, allowing BCE to purchase and sell wholesale electricity and offer renewable energy products to customers.

Copyright © 2011 NewNet

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