Progress Energy Florida's Installed Solar Capacity Reaches 1,000 Kilowatts

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 23, 2009) -- The solar

photovoltaic (PV) generation systems dotted across Progress
Energy Florida's service territory are relatively small individually.
But earlier this month, the total capacity from these customer and
utility-owned solar systems reached 1,000 kilowatts (1megawatt).
"This milestone is significant because it represents real solar
power interconnected with the electricity grid and is the result of
years of collaboration with our customers," said Jeff Lyash,
president and chief executive officer of Progress Energy Florida.
"We believe that cost-effective, reliable solar power will play an
important role in our balanced strategy to address the challenge
of global climate change."
The milestone was achieved with the interconnection of a
customer-owned 60-kilowatt (kW) solar PV system in Oviedo on
March 9. There are more than 140 residential and commercial
customer-owned solar PV systems interconnected to Progress
Energy Florida's electric grid. They range in size from 1.2 kW to
60 kW and most were installed since 2004. Interconnection
agreements allow these customers to sell any excess generation
from these systems back to the utility to serve other customers.
For more information on selling renewable energy to Progress
Energy Florida, please visit www.progressenergy.
In addition to the customer-owned PV systems, Progress Energy
Florida sponsors more than 20 solar PV projects around its
service territory. This includes 14 solar PV arrays installed at
schools as part of the SolarWise for Schools and SunSmart
Schools programs, which provide students with interactive
learning opportunities to explore alternative energy sources.
These school solar systems have a total capacity of 40 kW.
The company is aggressively pursuing new large-scale solar
opportunities that make sense for customers and the state.
Current solar technology is limited by high cost and intermittent
generating capability. The company expects to sign large-scale
renewable energy contracts in the future, as the technology
continues to develop, and as state leaders determine the state's
policy on renewable energy.
Progress Energy Florida is actively working to make renewable
energy more cost-effective and reliable. For example, one
project that will help unlock the full potential of intermittent
renewable technologies is the Sustainable Electric Energy
Delivery System, or S.E.E.D.S., partnership with the University
of South Florida's Power Center for Utility Explorations. Two solar
arrays are installed - one on the USF St. Petersburg campus and
the other in Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg - and the
output of these solar arrays is stored in an advanced battery
system known as a Vanadium Redox Battery Energy Storage
System. The stored solar energy will be used to help reduce
other forms of generation needed to meet peak demands during
summer and winter. More information on the company's
renewable energy projects can be found at