SENECA – Duke Energy’s World of Energy at Oconee Nuclear Station is home to a new solar energy display, highlighting the company’s increased role as a leader in renewable energy while adding an educational and fun exhibit to its popular education center.
“We jumped at the chance to add the solar station to our exhibits,” said Chris Rimel, manager of the World of Energy. “And it’s good timing with longer days and more sun as we move into spring and summer.”
The World of Energy’s solar charging station is powered by an attached 250-watt, three-foot-by-five-foot solar panel, and features 120-volt and USB outlets for charging small electronic devices atop a 36-inch round table. The display’s base contains a marine battery for storing electricity for use when the sun is not shining, and for nighttime use.
“The solar station helps tell the story of land use, too,” said Rimel. “Duke Energy’s Warsaw Solar Farm in North Carolina provides 65 megawatts of electricity, when the sun shines, on 550 acres of flat land. Turn around from the solar station and you can see Oconee Nuclear Station. There’s more than 2,500 megawatts being generated 24/7/365, on a footprint of 510 acres.”
“It’s also no accident the carbon-free solar exhibit is next to Duke’s single largest carbon-free energy source,” said Rimel. “Oconee Nuclear Station, like all nuclear plants, produces clean energy – no carbon dioxide at all. In South Carolina, the four nuclear stations are responsible for 93 percent of the state’s carbon-free electricity.”
Opened in 1969, the World of Energy has welcomed more than 3 million visitors and is among the most popular tourist attractions in upstate South Carolina. The solar charging station is part of a series of updates to coincide with the facility’s 50-year anniversary in 2019.
New signage, exhibits and a renovated lobby are among the upgrades already in place — and more is on the way.