Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is home to five new, distinctive solar trees. A combined vision to advance clean energy has brought life to a new kind of solar that harnesses the sun and provides visitors of community parks, zoos and museums with shade and covered parking across the state thanks to the Florida Power & Light (FPL) SolarNow program and its 44,000 participants.
“We are always looking for ways to incorporate new technologies into our guest experience,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “When FPL approached us to be part of their SolarNow program, we jumped at the opportunity to provide a site for clean energy generation and a learning opportunity for our guests.”
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex joins 14 other FPL SolarNow locations on the Space Coast, including Port Canaveral, that are powering the grid with clean, emissions-free energy. At the visitor complex, five solar trees are comprised of 60 solar panels and add an educational and interactive component to solar that inspires visitors to learn more about renewable energy. Their design allows solar to be easily integrated into urban landscapes, providing people an opportunity to see and learn about solar energy up close.
“We are excited that Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has joined our SolarNow family,” said Matt Valle, vice president of development at Florida Power & Light. “As we continue to advance solar in Florida, the visitor complex is the perfect location to educate people of all ages about the benefits of solar energy.”
FPL is in the midst of one of the largest solar expansions in the U.S. In addition to the community solar installations, FPL has 14 universal solar power plants including two located in Brevard County – the FPL Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center and FPL Barefoot Bay Solar Energy Center.
Kennedy Space Center, located on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, is committed to carefully managing environmental impact. In addition to this project, the visitor complex has been continuously working to reduce single-use plastics, increase recycling of waste products and increase energy efficiency. Currently underway is the installation of a Piezoelectric Pathway, in partnership with Georgia Tech Research Institute. These tiles will transform ambient, environmental vibration or kinetic energy from guests’ foot steps into usable electrical energy.