The Thermal Energy Storage Facility — the only one of its kind at a Florida university — allows UCF to chill water at night, taking advantage of Progress Energy’s off-peak energy rates, which are approximately 50 percent lower than daytime rates.

UCF expects to save an estimated $685,000 annually in energy costs. Progress Energy benefits because the university is using less power during peak usage times, reducing the need for generation when customers’ collective energy use is typically highest. The water chilled at night is used to cool UCF buildings during the day.

For the full story and a photo of UCF President Hitt accepting the check, click here.

Also on Wednesday, UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Sciences will held the second-annual Progress Energy Senior Design Symposium, focused on student-designed projects in renewable and sustainable energy.

Visitors were shown how an XBox 360 can be powered by the game player to promote exercise and energy reduction, how a solar purifier can transform dirty water into drinkable water for people in Haiti and many other innovative green projects.

The symposium was a showcase of green projects developed by engineering students during their senior year with guidance from faculty advisors.