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Zakary Tomlin
Dante Tornello
Alaukika Vaishnav
Jazmyne White
Makayla Wood

Dr. F. Tobienne, Jr.



University of South Florida

St. Petersburg
140 Seventh Ave. South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

June 19th 2015


Executive Summary


Our Planet

USFSPs Involvement

Benefits of Solar Energy


Future of USFSPs Green Commitment


Timeline of Solar Energy History






Glossary of Terms


suns energy and direct it to places where it

This report includes the strategies

used by the University of South Florida St.

is needed most. From picnic charging

Petersburg for environmental sustainability.

stations to power supplies for ones vehicle,

Readers will learn what solar panels do for

USFSP has done a great deal to keep

the campus and the type of commitment

emission use low. This report will try to

involved in such a project. This lifetime

convince readers that a smaller carbon

commitment to creating a campus that is

footprint is healthier for all life.

self-sustaining and beneficial to the planet

will not only have lasting effects but also
leave a carbon footprint worth striving for.
This report will discuss some history that
USFSP has gone through to make this
project possible and then the further research
they are taking part of to continue their
stride of sustainability. Not only does the
university want to grow greener, but
companies have promised to help them
because of the importance of global care.
This solar project is not only saving the
university the trouble of wasting precious
finite energy sources, but they are also going
to save money by being able to store the


This report will address some issues involving the planets environmental battle and what
we as students have researched on the topic. The University of South Florida St. Petersburg has
made a huge commitment to try and relieve some stress from our planet by collaborating with
certain companies and building up-to-date structures as a better solution to their cause. This
report will inform the reader on how the University has come so far into advancing sustainable
environment alternatives for the campus. This report will include the universitys own research
history as well as interviews from important peoples who have contributed to the solar project.
The annotated bibliography will further explain what research went into this report and why it is
relevant to the Universitys cause. The University would like to try and get more of the
community involved in greener efforts. Companies like Duke Energy have made their
commitment to help the University by giving them a grant for solar panel research in 2014. By
sifting through news articles and informative Intel on solar energy, this report will aim to inspire
the desire to improve the Universitys efforts and spread the word on what great research has
been done by professors and students alike to make a vital change. This report hopes to invoke

the same pride the University of South Florida St. Petersburg has to make a change and follow
the footsteps that many people have taken for the green movement.


The planet Earth is home to literally all life forms created here, but as humans, we have
destructed a lot of the most essential elements needed to keep a healthy planet that is habitable
for most parts of Earth. Climate damage has been a debate for decades in society, whether it is a
real issue or not. Carbon dioxide emissions by electricity is the largest leading source for the
U.S. (EPA, see Fig. 1). Carbon dioxide being released more rapidly than it can naturally be used
up by the environment is causing heat-trapping effects that melt glaciers, cause trees and flowers
to bloom earlier and animal migration shifts to become unstable.
This is where solar energy really helps in terms of using electricity as the main source for
homes and large-scale fuels. There are at least seven different types of pollution that affect our

everyday living habitats. Pollution is something the public hears regularly about because it is so
rampant in our society. Pollution is the contamination of our natural surroundings that negatively
affects and disturbs our ecosystem (CEF). Currently our planet mainly uses finite sources of
energy because developing the technology for sustainable green movements is still very young.
Unfortunately we still rely on the burning of fuel as our main sources of industrial activities such
as driving or even cooking. By harvesting energy used from solar power, many homes can cut
the costs of water and conserve it by reducing the water used in electricity production.
The way humans go about their daily lives has greatly impacted the earths decline. Soil,
air, water and thermal pollution has set earth back by heating up the atmosphere (EPA). Solar
energy development is used to collect clean and pure resources from the sun alone. This
advanced technology is beneficial to the earth because it lessens the dependence on fossil fuels
and reduces many greenhouse gas emitters.



Solar panels can lead someones

home on a more efficient route because they
can last decades. Panels on the roof of a
home lasting 40years still produces up to
eighty percent of its original power. Solar
panels only lose about half a percent of their
energy capacity a year, so that leaves time
for the benefits of solar usage to kick in
immediately and have long-term effects

Fig 1. "U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report: 1990-

(Pure Energy).

2013." United States Environmental Protection

Agency. N.p., 2014. Web. 16 June 2015.

Fig 2. "U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report: 1990-2013." United States Environmental Protection
Agency. N.p., 2014. Web. 16 June 2015.

Solar energy is environmentally friendly renewable source of energy. Unlike fossil fuels,
harnessing solar energy doesn't result in harmful CO2 emissions. Our sun is virtually unlimited
source of energy that could supply with ease our current as well as the future energy demand
with the correct technology, for instance covering just 4% of the world's desert area with
photovoltaic could supply all of the world's electricity. Use of solar energy can reduce the use of
fossil fuels for the production of electricity. It consequently reduces the amount of fossil fuels
used and the production of greenhouse gases, which cause global warming, melting of glaciers,
rise in sea level and disappearance of many habitable small islands around the globe. Solar
panels have certain chemicals in them that change light energy into electrical energy. The
resulting electrical energy can be used for many things, including charging batteries which can
store electrical energy for later use in another place. Living in the sunshine state of Florida you
would think that solar panels would come in handy since the sun is constantly shining bright
throughout the day. The University Of South Florida St. Petersburg is very big on going green
and sustainability within the campus community making it suitable for the students as well as the
faculty. With measures in improving our energy efficiency, Duke Energy has funded USFSP
with a 1 million dollar fund to provide it with a solar array which is placed on top of the parking
garage. It is destined to lower energy usage in the garage between the avenues of fifth and sixth
avenue south says Josh Boatwright of The St. Petersburg Tribune. It may not seem like much
but this will make a magnificent difference on the campus in saving energy, including electricity
funds for the school. There are 318 solar panels that store up to 200 kilowatts of energy in a
battery on the ground floor of the garage. USFSP solar panel instillation is one of the largest

instillations of Duke Energy. With hopes to enrich our efforts to research and cultivate substitute
energy solutions that will be value to the consumers and the environment. Installing these solar
panels has also opened doors to additional curriculum within the university in the Arts &
Sciences, Business, and Education educating students on sustainability and other practices for
going green. USFSPs decision to take part in the research project with solar panels is a huge
stand out to the community and campus environment to ensure how important it is to save energy
and this shows how serious USFSP is as a university about saving energy. Solar energy that is
not recycled by the garage for lights, elevators and electric-vehicle charging stations is stored in
battery systems or put onto the electric grid for instantaneous use. High-resolution statistics is
being composed on the PV connection and on the energy storage system which is exposed on an
online dashboard and numerous kiosks on campus. The innovative larger energy storage system
functions in conjunction with two minor existing USF energy storage systems. Thus, this creates
a prospect to build upon prevailing battery technology while evolving clean energy solutions.
Being that USFSP is one of few universities to have solar panels installed, this is something that
can set the bar for others to also follow along for making the communities more environmental
friendly. Think about how much we are saving, along with several other projects the universities
are working on to make campus life efficient and less expensive.


Investing in and using solar energy for public institutions is a big step for sustainable
energy practices. The University of South Florida Saint Petersburg has done just that, partnering
with Duke Energy to make positive changes to the way energy is collected and used. Using solar
energy is a perfect way to test sustainability at a large scale, such as a college institution. Having
this provides the school with methods to learn more about solar energys benefits in a first-hand
basis. Not only is this is a big step for the university, it is a truly important part of the process of
switching to alternative and renewable resources at a massive scale. Solar energy is a good move
for energy usage, environmentally and economically.
Solar energy is known to have had major environmental impacts, as noted by the Union
of Concerned Scientists. The use of solar based energy reduces the amount of greenhouse gases
produced from other forms of production such as oil and coal. Wind, solar, and hydroelectric
systems generate electricity with no associated air pollution emissions ( Solar
energy does not pollute water supplies and strain resources, helping to reduce the environmental
impact of energy use of many kinds. Because of that, it is much more eco-friendly and if applied
at a massive scale, say a whole country or even cities, the cities will be much cleaner. Some
cities use unsustainable methods of getting energy such as coal or nuclear power, which both
pollute the environment and cities around them. Using solar energy would cut that pollution
down and also make the air being consumed by life of Earth much safer. Besides the
environmental benefits, the long term use of solar energy can also have major economic benefits.
Economically, solar energy provides better long term affordability for energy
consumption, especially at a consumer and commercial level. Regardless of whether you pay

for your solar system up front or lease it, corporate utility costs will significantly decline to the
point where the savings can eventually pay for the solar system (
Although the upfront cost may be expensive, the long term sustainability pays back with having
much lower costs comparative to paying for standard electric energy, often obtained by coal.
This is an interesting point that reinforces the statement that the long term impact of solar energy
is valid.
Following this information, the benefits are clear. Solar energy is a widely available form
of energy, which is and will be crucial for affordable and safe energy consumption. If we were to
switch to solar energy as a worldwide society, global climate change would be slowed down
because of the use of sustainable resources. Even on a cloudy day, the panels can still collect
energy. And during the night, the panels that collected energy that day will have stored it for
ones home for later use. Thus, even during times of no sunlight, the panels are never useless.



The University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus has done an amazing job at going
green and working towards a better environment through many
different outlets. As a currently enrolled student at USFSP it
makes me proud to know that I attend a school that
is constantly looking for ways to improve
the environment one step
at a time. One of the



university is taking, is
using one of Floridas most abundant and natural gift, sunshine, and turning it into power. Solar
energy has been projected to be the future of alternative energy, not only because its a renewable
resource but also because solar energy doesnt pollute our precious Earth. USFSP has started an
amazing project and partnership with Duke Energy in debuting a 100 kilowatt solar panel system
on top of the 5th Ave South parking garage. The power that is generated through these panels will
be used to support charging stations for electric cars in the local area. Another effort that could be
implemented would be to increase the installation of additional panels on other campus buildings
to increase the amount of power that could be used internally or in conjunction with other charging
stations with a variety of purpose. As the amount of power generated increases, it may be possible
to coordinate external demand and re-sell any excess capacity back to the grid via Duke Energy
and allow for that profit to go towards purchasing more solar panels. Another possibility is as fuel
cells become a more prevalent source of power, solar energy will be used in an electrolysis process.

What happens during the electrolysis process is it separates the hydrogen and oxygen in water so
the hydrogen can be used in fuel cells for transportation and in building use, which both could
greatly benefit USFSP. Additionally, our University could consider offering informational services
to other regional governments and private organizations that may be interested in the opportunities
that solar power may offer. USFSP is a great example of an environmentally conscious facility
and can really help to lead by example for future projects in and around the community.
With the recent installation of the solar panels, USFSP is continuing down the path of not
only creating a sustainable campus but also a sustainable city. In a recent interview, when the solar
panels were debuted, Representative Dwight Dudley of St. Petersburg said this new project at
USFSP Shows a lot of potential for harnessing the sun here (Boatwright). Our Representative is
right on the dot. With Florida being known as the Sun Shine State, itd be silly not to take advantage
of it. A possibility going forward for the University could be adding additional solar panels to
power several indoor charging stations around the campus. Being in the twenty first century where
it seems like everyone has some type of device glued to them at all times and they all inevitably
end up running out of power at some point during the day, charging up is a must. With this being
the case, people will always need to charge up their devise, at least one, once a day, especially
college students. Receiving money to have more solar panels installed on USFSPs campus and
having the generated power feed directly to designated stations all over campus with the purpose
of charging up students devices could become beneficial all around. By adding more solar panels
to USFSP, the less damage done to the environment, the greener the campus becomes and also
students become exposed to a real outcome of what energy harvested from the sun can do. Every
day technology advances and new ideas are born, with solar power such a viable option, the ideas
are bound to become endless only with time.


Interesting facts about solar production and USFSPs current involvement.

1888-91 Aleksandr Stoletov creates the first solar cell

A solar cell is a semi-conductor connected to a wired circuit. When light strikes the cells,
they produce energy and lead it to the power source to store energy (Northwestern
University). This is where it becomes useful for USFSP to keep energy for their garage in
the elevators and lights. When the energy is not being used, it is stored away in the Tesla
1992 University of South Florida fabricates a 15.89-percent efficient thin-film cell (Solar Co.)
2013 University of South Florida St. Petersburg installs charging stations for devices around
campus (Bay News 9).
2014 Duke awarded the University of South Florida the million dollar grant to fund the project,
they also installed a 100-kilowatt photovoltaic system.
2015 May of 2015 the University of South Florida St. Petersburg turned on the solar panels
above the campus garage for the first time (The Oracle).


In 2018, Duke Energy plans to continue their collaboration with USFSP to add 30 more
megawatts on the power grid. Currently, five more are to be added this year.


Some interviews with people who personally were involved with the University of South
Florida St. Petersburg production of the solar panels.

What were the initiatives and/or finished projects in making

USFSP more environmentally friendly during the tenure you served
as the coordinator?
I wrote and received a grant for a 100kw solar array; more info
about the system at We also got the U
Pass agreement signed so that students can ride the PSTA buses for free. I also helped
work on the first USFSP greenhouse gas inventory.
In what ways do you think solar energy can be used on campus to further environmental
Solar energy will help USFSP not be dependent on energy from utility companies and
will also help it become more sustainable because it will reduce its greenhouse gas
How has been our partnership with Duke Energy to make solar energy and other alternative
forms of energy a plausible means to thrive?
Without the monies from Duke Energy we would not have able to install a 100kw solar
array with battery backup and 2 new Electric vehicle charging stations.

Winter, Jennifer. Email interview. 16 June 2015



With regards to solar programs in Florida, do you think the

recent partnership between Duke Energy and USFSP will set a
standard for universities in Florida to make shifts towards solar
and other forms of alternative energy?

Yes, it has already set the standards, it is the 5th year for the

SunSense program. We have worked with many universities before this like: UF, UCF,
St. Petersburg College but now with USFSP we have expanded the project. It is more
comprehensive at USFSP with 100kw solar array, 200kw battery and 2 electrical vehicle
chargers. The goal is to research so the batteries can store more solar power, so when the
clouds come or at night how we can increase the batteries to store more power in them.
Since the $1,000,000 partnership started officially as of May 20 (2015), what other initiatives
are in the works with USFSP to bring more of a focus on alternative energy?
The program started on the 20th of May is now fully installed and will be in research for
about 2 years to see the results. USFSP has also been looking to expand their research
and getting other grants as well.
Do you see solar energy as a great investment for the future, especially for USFSP, and if so,
Absolutely, there has been reduction in the costs of solar energy in the last 5 years and it
definitely bears some more research as a viable resource as the costs go down.
How are homes to use this energy and are they using it?


They are already using it, now it just a matter of it being economically viable. The energy
is to be used just like electricity to run homes appliances etc. Duke just announced a few
months ago to expand the solar program to 500mw of solar in next 10 years in Florida.
We also provide customer incentives to both residential and commercial customers to
reduce the upfront costs of solar.
How is USFSP using the solar energy that is installed?
USFSP is using the energy to offset the usage at the garage, instead of using the grid. The
goal is to research for 2 years and to see the results.

Pietrzak, Joe. Phone interview. 17 June 2015.


The University of South Florida St.

proud to be a part of this greener institution

Petersburg made a commitment in 2012 to

by working with USFSPs researchers and

continue to grow greener and inspire others

helping to build the most important

around them to do the same. From

infrastructures that technology has to offer.

continuously building more efficient

The University would also like to encourage

buildings with better insulation to priority

their students not only by example of

parking for vehicles that need a charge, the

recycling products with the correct waste

university still actively makes a difference

bins but invoking students choice to make

for lowering pollution emissions and

the right decisions at home.

wasteful products. Duke Energy is also




The amount of carbon dioxide or other carbon compounds emitted into

the atmosphere by the activities of an individual, company, country,


Chemical decomposition produced by passing an electric current

through a liquid or solution containing ions. This process is solarpowered when using solar cells.


Something that is emitted; discharge; emanation.


The quality of not being harmful to the

environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting
long-term ecological balance.

Fossil Fuels:

Any combustible organic material, as oil, coal, or natural gas, derived

from the remains of former life.


An increase in the earth's average atmospheric temperature that

causes corresponding changes in climate and that may result from the
greenhouse effect.


Any of the gases whose absorption of solar radiation is responsible for

the greenhouse effect, including carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and
the fluorocarbons.


Of, concerned with, or producing electric current or voltage caused by

electromagnetic radiation, esp. visible light from the sun.


To treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for



Any natural resource that can replenish itself naturally over time, as
wood or solar energy. Web. 19 Jun. 2015


Carbon Dioxide Emissions. EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 16 June 2015.
Greenhouse Gases are a serious factor when going green, and thats why weve found this
source to be very helpful while writing our White Paper about solar energy. This website not only
provides an overview of greenhouse gases, but also goes in-depth about Carbon Dioxide and its
effects it has on us and the world. This kind of information will be beneficial to us while writing
because we can use is as a reason to go green, along with having it as a resource to backup other
information. The article goes into discussion main sources of CO2 emissions in the U.S, which
will also help us while writing about solar energy.

What Is Pollution? ConserveEnergyFuture. N.p., 03 Mar. 2013. Web. 16 June 2015.
Pollution is a main component in our White Paper, so this website explaining what
pollution is, will have great use as reference to us while writing. The article starts off by explaining
what pollution is and then goes into detail about the different kinds of pollution, like air and water
pollution. Knowing about the different kinds of pollution will be beneficial to us while writing,
because its an important factor to consider when going green in general, and also concerning solar
energy. This article also goes into discussing the multiple effects of pollution, which can again
help is while writing out White Paper about solar energy. Well be able to use different kinds of
pollution and their side effects, as a push to move towards solar energy.


"Duke Energy, University of South Florida St. Petersburg Unveil Solar Battery Project." Duke
Energy, University of South Florida St. Petersburg Unveil Solar Battery Project. TD World








TD World focuses this article on the recent unveiling of the solar partnership between Duke
Energy and USFSP. The partnership includes a 100-kilowatt solar installation, which powers the
universitys parking garage system. The site also discusses the storage of excess energy collected
by the solar panel, being a battery that will store that energy for later use. TD World also states
that this project was enabled by a $1 million grant from Duke Energy.

"SolarEnergyBasics."NREL: Learning-.N.p., 25July2014.Web.16June2015.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratorys website regarding the basics of solar energy,
has proven to be very helpful for our group. This website focus on explaining the simple principles
of solar energy, like what it can accomplish and places its done at. This kind of research is helpful
for our group because its good background information to be able to reference back to when
discussing our main points. This website also goes on to discussing different solar technologies,
and provides links to be able to find out more information about each. For example there is, Solar
Photovoltaic Technology and Solar Process Heat along with Solar Water Heating. These links to
other kinds of solar technologies is useful for our group because it could be used as a good
persuasion point within our White Paper.


Blais, Jessica. USFSP News Center, Duke Energy to Invest $1 Million in USFSP Research
Project. University of South Florida St. Petersburg. N. p., 18 Sept. 2014. Web. 16 June
This article here is one of the first debuting USFSP receiving the grant from Duke Energy
to start the solar energy project. Within this article there is a lot of great information about the
basis of the project. There is a great explanation of the setup of the solar panels along with the
whole process from start to finish. We believe this information will be beneficial to us while
writing our paper because it will provide us with good background information to back up our
claims while writing.

SunSenseSchools.SunSenseSchools.N.P.n.d. Web. 16 June 2015. <>

This article is going to be helpful to our group when writing our White Paper because it
explains the SunSense program within schools, like USFSP and how it all works. This kind of
information is beneficial to us because it gives us the background knowledge needed to be able to
explain in depth the program and all of its benefits while tying it into our paper. This website might
be more for officials looking for more information on how to get started, but it still provides good
insight which can help us while writing our paper.

Duke Energy, University of South Florida St. Petersburg Unveil Solar Battery Project May 20,
2015. Duke Energy, University of South Florida St. Petersburg Unveil Solar


This article via Duke Energy discusses the unavailing of the solar project at USFSP and
Duke Energy being a partner in it. This article is a wealth of information because they dont only
provide information regarding the whole process and how it works, but also its benefits and
logistics. This article will be most helpful to is when writing our introduction I believe, because of
the great detail about the project given here. We also might take advantage of the images they
posted as part of our design of our White Paper.

Solar. Solar. N.P., n.d. Web. 16 June 2015. <>

This website not only discusses how much solar energy has grown, but also talks about
where solar energy is taking place. Our group found this website to be an interesting and
resourceful article because having access to statistics like the amount of growth solar energy
installations has had, along with the benefits of that growth, provide us with excellent points to
back our main points up within our White Paper. It also does a good job of explaining how the
Department of Energy supports solar energy and how they help get it out there via places like
universities and private companies.



"40 Facts About Solar Energy - Conserve Energy Future."ConserveEnergyFuture. N.p., 13 Dec.
2013. Web. 16 June 2015.
Ballogg, Ryan. "USFSP may host citys largest solar panel array." The Crow's Nest. N.p., 19
Feb. 2014. Web. 17 June 2015.
"Benefits of Commercial Solar Power." Clean Energy Experts. Clean Energy Experts. Web. 17
June 2015.
Boatwright, Josh. "Duke Energy unveils solar power project at USF St. Pete." The St. Petersburg
Tribune. Ed. Jeff Scullin. The Tampa Tribune, 20 May 2015. Web. 17 June 2015.
Carbon Dioxide Emissions. EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 16 June 2015.
"Duke Energy, University of South Florida St. Petersburg Unveil Solar Battery Project." TD
World. TD World Magazine, 21 May 2015. Web. 17 June 2015.
"Environmental Impacts of Renewable Energy Technologies." Union of Concerned Scientists.
Union of Concerned Scientists. Web. 17 June 2015.
"Power System." Northwestern University. Qualitative Reasoning Group, n.d. Web. 17 June
"Solar Cell Timeline." The Solar Company. N.p., 27 Feb. 2012. Web. 17 June 2015.
"Solar power stations come to USF St. Petersburg." Bay News 9. Bright House, 7 Feb. 2013.
Web. 17 June 2015.
"USFSP solar-powered garage turned on, largest in Florida." The Oracle. Ed. Christopher
Collier. USFSP, 28 May 2015. Web. 17 June 2015.

What Is Pollution? ConserveEnergyFuture. N.p., 03 Mar. 2013. Web. 16 June 2015.


Pietrzak, Joe. Phone interview. 17 June 2015.

Winter, Jennifer. Email interview. 16 June 2015
GLOSSARY Web. 19 Jun. 2015