Orange County unveils largest floating solar array in Southeast U.S.

Orange County is now home to the largest floating solar array in the southeastern United States.

Situated on a 3.6-acre pond at the Southern Regional Water Supply Facility in Orange County, this “innovative project” marks a “significant step towards achieving the county’s sustainability and resilience goals,” according to a media release from Orange County Utilities (OCU).

Orange County Utilities floating Solar Array next to water facility photo by Alex Redkin (2)
An aerial shot of the floating solar array, which is located on a 3.6-acre pond near the Southern Regional Water Supply Facility in Orange County. (Photo: Alex Redkin)

OCU states that the floating array, which consists of 2,236 panels covering two acres of the pond, is projected to cut energy costs at the facility by 25% per year while limiting the impact on land and wildlife.

Orange County Utilities floating Solar Array photo by Alex Redkin
The 2,236 floating solar panels are expected to reduce energy costs at the Southern Regional Water Supply Facility by 25%. (Photo: Alex Redkin)

Ed Torres, Orange County Utilities Director, feels that this project is representative of the “unwavering commitment to advancing Orange County’s goal of sourcing clean, renewable energy.” In addition to reducing OCU’s carbon footprint, Torres added that this project will ensure more sustainable water supply operations.

While speaking on the new solar array, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said that “sustainability and resilience are not just buzzwords for us; they are guiding principles that inform our decision-making.”

The mayor added that the project “exemplifies our dedication to building a more sustainable and resilient future for generations to come.”

Chief Sustainability and Resilience Officer Carrie Black highlighted the environmental impact of the project, stating that it will reduce a total of 1,500 tons of CO2 emissions annually while further positioning Orange County as a leader in climate action.

According to OCU, the project aligns with Orange County’s Sustainable Operations & Resilience Action Plan as the county looks to have 100% clean, renewable energy by 2035.

For more information, visit the Orange County Government’s Solar Arrays webpage.

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