National Solar Tour at Florida Solar Energy Center

The Florida  Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida  will open  its doors to the public Oct. 5 and 6 for tours as part of the National Solar Tour.  The guided walking tours of the center and its laboratories will give residents and  businesses a chance to learn more about solar energy, energy efficiency and alternative  transportation systems and how to implement those strategies in their lives.

FSEC is located at UCF’s Cocoa campus, shared with Brevard Community College, at 1679 Clearlake Road. Tours will take place at 10 and 11 a.m. and 1 and 2 p.m. each day. Each tour will last about 50 minutes. Reservations are requested and can be made by calling 321-638-1015 or sending an e-mail to info@fsec.ucf.edu.

FSEC, in partnership with the American Solar Energy Society, is coordinating this effort in what has become the largest demonstration of installed renewable energy technologies and energy efficient building practices in the country. Amid rising energy costs and concerns about climate change, the tour enables participants to see how neighbors are saving money on utility bills and protecting the environment by using clean sources of energy and reducing energy demand.

About 100,000 people across the United States are expected to participate in the 12th-annual tour, which will be offered in 46 states. A complete list of scheduled events can be viewed at www.NationalSolarTour.org.

A recent survey showed that a majority of people who attend a tour later add sustainable energy technologies to their homes or buildings. That can have a profound and positive effect on the environment. According to 2007 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data, residential and commercial buildings generate approximately 40 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

The Florida Solar Energy Center is a research institute of the University of Central Florida. It is the largest and most active state-supported energy research institute in the country. Center divisions and their research activities include Advanced Energy Research: alternative transportation systems, hydrogen fuel and fuel cells; Buildings Research: energy-efficient buildings; and Solar Energy: solar water and pool heating and solar electric (photovoltaics) and distributed generation systems. For more information, visit www.floridaenergycenter.org or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at 321-638-1015.

The American Solar Energy Society is the nation’s largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a sustainable U.S. energy economy. ASES develops leading programs that increase the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency across the nation. For more information, go to www.ases.org.

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