Orlando acquires portable solar panel generators

The City of Orlando is making sure they are prepared in case of another disaster. FOX 35 got a firsthand look at some of the 36 mobile solar panel units that the city recently bought that they say will light and power the city in case of a hurricane.

Reflecting back on last hurricane season had Orlando city officials thinking.

“It can really hit communities hard, especially the lower to moderate income communities,” said Orlando Energy Project Manager Ian Lahiff.

That’s why they’re feeling particularly energized about a high-tech solar-powered solution.

“We can pull these up to a major traffic intersection and power the downed traffic signals with the electricity coming from these panels,” said Lahiff. 

The 36 solar-panel units are completely mobile.

“This rides on a class three trailer that can be towed by any half-ton pickup.

City officials are beaming over this greener, cleaner and cheap way to generate power across the city.

“It’s only costing the city a dollar per unit per year. We know where they are all across the city and how much they're being utilized.”

With energy stored in batteries and the ability to plug in almost anything anywhere, city officials hope they’ll shine a new light on the best spots for electric car charging stations in the future. 

But for now “we want to make sure that the first responders and the critical infrastructure is powered up very quickly so that we can serve the needs of the community,” said Lahiff. 

It’s a plan that has city officials feeling lit. 

Just a few hours under the sun is all it takes to power these for a couple of days.