Progress Energy Florida announced a program that will continue to expand the company’s use of renewable energy sources. The SolarWise for Schools program advances the use of renewable energy through the installation of solar energy systems at schools throughout the utility’s service territory. It also supports solar-energy education initiatives for students.

Progress Energy already has partnered with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Solar Energy Center to install photovoltaic (PV) systems at 11 schools throughout the company’s service area as part of the SunSmart Schools program. The new SolarWise for Schools program will significantly accelerate the rate at which new PV systems can be installed at schools, to expand the use of renewable energy in Florida.

Progress Energy customers can take part in SolarWise for Schools if they are enrolled in EnergyWise, the company’s energy management program. EnergyWise enables Progress Energy to temporarily cycle off power to select electrical equipment—such as central heating and air units, water heaters and pool pumps—during periods of peak demand. In exchange, customers receive monthly credits on their electric bill that can total more than $145 annually. Customers have the option to keep these credits or automatically contribute these monthly savings toward SolarWise for Schools. Currently, there are 350,000 customers enrolled in EnergyWise.

“SolarWise for Schools is a great way for our customers to help educate young minds about the potential of renewable energy sources like solar and, at the same time, manage energy wisely,” said Jeff Lyash, president and chief executive officer of Progress Energy Florida. “Through this program, we hope to install a photovoltaic system at every school in our service territory.”

Participation in both programs is free for Progress Energy customers.  EC