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Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Duke Energy bring clean energy to Pinellas County with new solar canopy

  • The Dolphin Solar Canopy includes 665 solar panels that are expected to produce nearly 250 kilowatts of AC power (kWac) when operating at peak production
  • The clean energy generated by the solar panels goes directly onto the grid to serve Duke Energy customers in Florida
  • Duke Energy is also installing four (4) electric vehicle (EV) charging stations inside CMA’s parking garage for use by guests, staff, interns and volunteers
  • The Dolphin Solar Canopy at CMA is the latest solar facility contributing to Duke Energy’s efforts to have 1,500 megawatts of solar generation in Florida by 2024

(Clearwater Marine Aquarium issued the following news release.)

Clearwater Marine Aquarium is now harvesting the power of the sun in collaboration with Duke Energy by installing 250-kWac solar photovoltaic panels for Florida customers.

“Bringing solar to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium will have such a meaningful impact on our environment, the marine life that are cared for at this facility and the thousands of visitors who leave inspired to make a difference in the communities we serve,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president.

The Dolphin Solar Canopy is located on the top floor of Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s parking garage. The 665 solar panels will provide shade for vehicles parked beneath it and will produce enough clean energy to effectively replace carbon emissions created from burning the equivalent of over 313,000 pounds of coal each year.

“The same building that provides us the opportunity to share the work we do in the wild to preserve our environment with guests around the world is now able to serve a dual purpose,” said Lisa Oliver, Clearwater Marine Aquarium COO. “Through our partners at Duke Energy, we are now able to take advantage of our building footprint in a whole new way by providing clean energy for folks throughout Florida.”

Duke Energy also installed four electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on the second floor of CMA’s parking garage. CMA guests, staff, interns and volunteers are able to use the charging stations for their EV needs.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium opened its $80 million expansion in 2020, including a 1.5-million-gallon habitat for resident bottlenose dolphins Hope, Apollo, PJ, Nicholas and Hemingway.

About Clearwater Marine Aquarium   

Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working marine rescue center dedicated to inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation and release. With a mission to preserve the environment and its marine life, CMA is home to rescued dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, a nurse shark and more. Through Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, CMA conducts important global research focused on protecting manatees, North Atlantic right whales and sea turtles. Major motion picture “Dolphin Tale” (2011) and its sequel “Dolphin Tale 2” (2014) feature the true stories of rescued resident dolphins Winter and Hope, inspiring millions around the world. The mission and potential to change people’s lives differentiate Clearwater Marine Aquarium from any other aquarium in the world.

About Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns 10,300 megawatts of energy capacity, supplying electricity to 1.9 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business and at least a 50% carbon reduction from electric generation by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The 2050 net-zero goals also include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2022 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues.

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