Solar Energy Facility Design & Permitting

Former Coal-fired Power Plant in Orlando, FL

The Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center, located about 13 miles southeast of downtown Orlando, Florida, is a 3,000-acre facility that can generate more than 1,800 megawatts (MW) of electricity, powering much of the Orlando area. Originally built and operated as a coal-fired power plant, it has since been converted to run on a diverse combination of energy sources, including natural gas, landfill gas from a nearby closed landfill, and solar photovoltaics. Through a third-party Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Weston & Sampson was retained to design and permit the siting of two separate solar arrays – one on an area originally designated as a coal storage yard and another on top of a closed coal ash landfill on site – that together would add 12 MW of solar energy to the mix and increase the facility’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).

Due to the facility’s industrial history, Weston & Sampson began by performing a Phase I environmental site assessment to ensure we were not impacting any hazardous waste disposal sites that may have been on the property. We then pursued and received several permits from the South Florida Water Management District, including environmental permits and a landfill closure modification permit, to allow the construction of the arrays on the closed coal ash landfill. We provided civil, structural, and electrical design services and because both sets of solar arrays needed to be ground-mounted, our design included a ballasted system that would not compromise the integrity of the capping system. We also provided some limited construction-phase engineering services during the construction of the solar arrays.

The two new solar arrays at the Stanton Center are now constructed and fully operational. The combined 12 MW of clean, renewable energy make a significant contribution to the facility’s RPS. Also, the PPA entered into between our client and the facility’s owner provides a win-win for both, where each will receive a reliable level of income for many years from the sale of renewable and sustainable energy to the grid.

Key Project Features:

  • solar array design and permitting
  • renewable energy facility
  • renewable portfolio standards (RPS)
  • construction-phase engineering
  • power purchase agreement (PPA)


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Posted in Florida Engineering, Industry-Municipal, RE and tagged , , , .