Down South: Florida Credit Union Builds Energy Efficient Branch; Navy Builds EV Charging Solar Carport in Tennessee

June 3, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Suncoast Schools Credit UnionSuncoast Schools Federal Credit Union opened new branch in Ft. Myers, Fla., featuring LED lighting throughout, high-efficiency windows and insulation, geothermal air conditioning and heating, and a 40 kW solar system to offset electricity. The branch is expected to use half the electricity of the credit union’s other branches.

In Millington, Tenn., the Naval Support Activity Mid-South activated the Navy’s first solar-powered electric car charging station. The PV carport will enable NSA Mid-South to recharge its current fleet of 17 electric vehicles with renewable electricity in about four hours. Vehicles can connect through either 110V or 220V plugs. Excess electricity will go to the local power grid.

The 150-foot-long panel carport structure tilts automatically to track the sun and includes several safety features to protect against high wind or lightning strikes. Public Works Department Mid-South will monitor the carport’s production via a Web-based system and will rely on the base operations support contractor to maintain the individual solar arrays and components over its expected 25-year lifespan. Construction began in March 2013 and was completed in late April.

NSA Mid-South’s carport is part of an ongoing $10-million Navy Installations Command project to install seven sites with E85 alternative-fuel stations, nine sites with solar carports and five sites with stand-alone electric vehicle charging stations at Navy installations in the US.

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