Orlando is one of the best tourist destinations in the world and now the city is adding one another distinction to its portfolio. It is gearing up to become a place with carbon-free energy. Thousands of ponds can be seen all over tasked to collect runoff from frequent downpours and floating solar panels are sending power to the grid, though in a smaller scale now.
Most of the Orlando’s streets now no longer use electric grid. Solar panels can be seen atop streetlights. About 20,000 lights have undergone conversion, towards high-efficiency light-emitting diodes.
Going one step ahead, the city is testing a unique system to become carbon-free. Algae pools are being used to trap emitted carbon coming from transportation and power plants. The idea is not to release carbon into the atmosphere.
Orlando is among the three hundred cities and counties in America to have opted to help achieve goals of Paris Climate pact even though President Donald Trump announced earlier to be withdrawing United States from it. The city is charting its own course to reduce effects of climate change. It is taking the lead which was expected from the federal government.
If the combined plans work smooth by 2050 the city may be able to generate all of its energy from such sources which are carbon-free. A major climate conference is due in California in September and environmental groups are seeking commitments and not just talk.
Mayor Buddy Dyer said Orlando has been good about creating visions and technology advancements are required to achieve the goals.
It is learned generation of about 8 percent solar power electricity could be expected by 2020 and this will cover up much of the metropolitan area like SeaWorld and Universal Studios. Currently Orlando has installed equipment capable of generating 20 megawatts of community solar power, which may light up about 3,200 homes, and the panels can be seen on places like canopies over parking lots. Added to this, about 10 megawatts of solar power could be generated from panels installed on the rooftops of 280,000 residents against perks of full retail value for electricity sent to the grid. It is termed as net metering.
Orlando is also looking ahead to float large panels on the pools of a water treatment plant.