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FAMU, Duke Energy To Partner On Solar Farm In Brooksville

A series of solar panels outlined against a bright blue sky, with clouds. The sun shines down on the solar panels in this solar farm.

Florida A&M University is partnering with Duke Energy to build a 600-800 acre solar farm on the school’s property near Tampa. FAMU stands to get up to 680,000 a year once the project is operational.

The proposed solar farm would be housed on FAMU's Brooksville campus, which it acquired back in 2015. FAMU President Larry Robinson secured the deal a year before the transfer, and says it's a priority.

“There are only certain things we can do and they all have to have an agricultural component. And they do consider a solar farm, literally a farm. So we’ve been looking at this opportunity with Duke. But we opened the door for a variety of proposals on how to utilize that property," he said.

The proposed solar farm is only a small part of the school’s 3,800 acre Brooksville site, which it received from the U.S Department of Agriculture.

During the first, two-year development phase, FAMU would get about $40 per acre. It plans to use revenues from the site to support other agricultural based programs at the school. Robinson plans to bring the partnership proposal to the school’s trustees next week.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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