JEA, the city-owned utility of Jacksonville, is reinforcing its commitment to clean energy research by providing financial support to the University of North Florida (UNF). This renewed collaboration aims to advance teaching and research in sustainable solutions, as JEA strives to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.
The partnership between JEA and UNF dates back to two decades ago when JEA initially contributed $500,000 to UNF. This funding seed led to the university securing millions of dollars in grants and partnerships for clean energy research. Now, JEA is injecting another $500,000 into UNF for further investments in teaching and research. The inauguration of the JEA Sustainable Solutions Lab on the UNF campus marked the official commencement of this partnership.
JEA has set an ambitious goal of generating 35% of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2030, with a particular focus on nuclear power from Plant Vogtle and solar energy. The Sustainable Solutions Lab at UNF will play a significant role in researching sustainable solutions related to JEA’s electric and water operations.
By investing in UNF, JEA aims to equip college students with the skills and knowledge necessary for the emerging clean and renewable energy sector in Northeast Florida. JEA’s Chief Operating Officer, Raynetta Curry Marshall, emphasizes the importance of sustainability and collaboration, stating, “Sustainability and a sustainable future is at the core of what we do…and at JEA, we have many UNF graduates helping us toward that bright and sustainable future.”
In addition to focusing on clean energy, the research conducted at UNF’s Sustainable Solutions Lab will encompass clean water and green transportation technology. UNF plans to introduce a “green energy certificate program,” offering engineers, scientists, and other professionals the opportunity to pursue courses and expand their expertise in the field.
The Sustainable Solutions Lab will also explore innovative technologies for powering small-scale electric grids known as “microgrids.” This includes testing different types of technology, such as solar panels, and examining the integration of multiple microgrids into larger systems.
The collaboration between JEA and UNF represents a vital step towards a more sustainable future, fostering research, education, and the development of clean and renewable energy solutions. Through this partnership, both organizations aim to pave the way for a greener and more environmentally conscious Northeast Florida.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is JEA’s goal for clean energy consumption?
JEA aims for 35% of its electricity to come from clean-energy sources by 2030, which includes nuclear power and solar energy.
2. What is the purpose of the JEA Sustainable Solutions Lab at UNF?
The lab will conduct research on sustainable solutions for JEA, encompassing both electric and water operations. It will also explore clean water and green transportation technology.
3. How will UNF benefit from JEA’s investment?
JEA’s financial support will help UNF prepare college students for careers in the clean and renewable energy sector, aligning their skills with the needs of Northeast Florida’s industries.
4. What courses will UNF offer through the green energy certificate program?
UNF plans to offer courses that focus on green energy, allowing engineers, scientists, and other professionals to enhance their expertise in the field.
5. What will the Sustainable Solutions Lab research?
The lab will research various technologies for powering microgrids, test solar panels, and explore how to connect multiple microgrids into larger systems.