Fort Lauderdale museum uses hands-on approach for solar energy

January 16, 2013 by  

The Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is practicing what it preaches, by having solar panels installed on the front of the building, above the entrance to the museum.

Florida Power & light is partnering with the museum to help educate people about the energy-saving benefits of solar power. The panels will not only provide energy for the museum, but also an education source. The CEO and president of the museum, Kim Cavendish, said that officials were in favor of alternative sources of energy and wanted the opportunity to educate others.

Florida Power & light is paying for the installation of the solar panels, in addition to an educational exhibit to be displayed in the museum at a total cost of about $250,000. Although the installation of solar panels is greater than would be required for a typical home, the energy produced will only slightly reduce energy costs for the museum. However, Cavendish points out that the energy produced will be sufficient for the new otter house for a year.

The panels on the South facing wall of the museum have been installed with a white undercoat to help them blend into the building. The installation technique used allows them to withstand wind speeds of 180 mph. Local brochure printers may need to produce more stationery to include information about solar energy, to accompany the educational exhibit. The museum hopes to be able to install solar sheeting in the near future.