The "Sunshine State" is going to put some of that sunshine to use for something besides orange juice, tourism and melanoma. How about a little electricity? Or in the case of Florida Gulf Coast University, for a lot of electricity.
The plan is to build for FGCU the largest solar farm at any university anywhere on earth. Fits because FGCU specializes in envornmental education and research. The money, do not faint, is coming from the Florida state government. The same state that twice voted for the Dick Cheney administration is now sneaking behind his back looking for alternatives to fossil fuel. Oh naught, naughty.
FGCU needs to get the Florida governor's OK and then they'll move ahead, hoping to have the solar farm in operation by next summer when the sun really shines there in Fort Meyers. And the hope is for the solar farm to power the university and all the iPod downloads and cell phone rechargers needed by the students. Not to mention the refrigeration needed to cool beer for 9500 sun-parched scholars.
On the university website the college's mission statement explicitly speaks its goal to be ecologically responsible: "Florida Gulf Coast University continuously pursues academic excellence, practices and promotes environmental sustainability...."
And Florida is planning to finance solar installations at some other state colleges as well. This could be a trend.