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  FAU Fort Lauderdale Installs City’s First Large-Scale Solar Roof Project on Higher Education Complex Building

Florida Atlantic University's School of Urban and Regional Planning in the College of Architecture unveiled Fort Lauderdale's first large-scale solar roof installation on FAU's Higher Education Complex (HEC) building on the Fort Lauderdale campus in February. Florida Governor Charlie Crist, FAU President Frank T. Brogan, and community leaders unveiled the roof that was installed by Advanced Green Technologies, Inc. Crist, accompanied by Advanced Green Technologies' Rob Kornahrens, cut a ribbon on the 240-panel system that will produce 34 kilowatts of electrical power.

Florida Atlantic University Higher Education Complex building, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. is the first large-scale solar roof installation in downtown Ft. Lauderdale using 240 photovoltaic panels.“Florida’s universities are taking a leadership role in the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy technologies,” said Governor Crist. “The research done on campuses like FAU not only prepares our future workforce, but it also fosters advances that will lead to more ‘green’ jobs.”

The Photovoltaic Solar Panel installation project, conducted by Advanced Green Technologies, Inc. and headed by Dr. Jaap Vos, associate professor and director of FAU’s School of Urban & Regional Planning, is funded by a generous private gift from an anonymous donor, as well funds from Florida Power & Light, the State of Florida Solar Energy System Incentives program and other state funding. FAU is the first university in South Florida to implement the solar panel project initiative.

“This is an exciting time for Florida Atlantic University, as we continue to embark on our mission to promote sustainability,” said FAU President Frank T. Brogan. “The solar panel initiative reflects how FAU continues to chart new ground in this mission, serving as a role model in the implementation and success of alternative energy through educational outreach.”

The initiative covers the installation of 240 photovoltaic panels, as well as the future installation of a flat panel display and a “real time” monitoring system in the building to allow users to see the energy produced. The panel is designed to produce 50,000 watts of energy.

Other benefits that the university and environment will reap from the project annually are as follows:

• Reducing between 20 and 25 percent of current energy demand
• Preventing 70,000 pounds of carbon dioxide to be emitted into the atmosphere
• Saving 4,000 gallons of oil
• Providing a pilot for other buildings in the downtown Fort Lauderdale area

A portion of the budget savings from the HEC building utility bills will be used to fund the Sun Fund Scholarship for one graduate student each year in the School of Urban and Regional Planning. This is believed to be the first scholarship of its kind in the nation to be completely paid for by the sun.

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