Northwest Florida Roundup
SunDial helps businesses optimize power consumption
Nhu Energy’s award-winning SunDial helps businesses, institutions and industries optimize their power consumption while providing alerts to system overloads and other potential issues. The technology also allows users to monitor lifetime energy savings and emission reductions as well as create simulations for how a power system can be improved and made more efficient, says founder and President Rick Meeker.
“With SunDial technology, you can monitor your power grid in real-time and analyze your system’s data and see how it is performing,” says Meeker.
The Tallahassee-based company recently won a grant from Innovation Park of Tallahassee, a major research and development campus that fosters growth of private, innovative companies.
- Pensacola’s annual Mardi Gras parade has been tentatively rescheduled for late May or early June because of public health concerns.
- Bay County school officials and the Florida Department of Health are allowing students to attend classes during spring and fall semester without being vaccinated.
- Panama City commissioners are moving forward with plans to borrow $80 million to pay for 72 planned projects related to Hurricane Michael response, recovery and mitigation, including debris removal and stormwater system repair. City Manager Mark Mc- Queen says 75% of the PNC Bank loan will be reimbursed by FEMA. The remaining 25% will be repaid by the state and the city.
- Walton County commissioners have rejected a proposal by Gulf Power to build a 7.5-megawatt Chautaugua Solar Energy Center on 868 acres in the northern part of the county. Gulf Power says it chose the site largely because one of its major transmission lines crosses the property and would allow an easier, lower-cost connection to the proposed solar facility. However, Walton commissioners questioned whether the facility could be legally considered agricultural use under the county's comprehensive land-use plan and development code. Gulf Power spokeswoman Sarah Gatewood says the utility is evaluating other options in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Escambia counties.
- The Port of Pensacola has been named a Green Marine participant, only the third Florida port designated so by North America’s largest voluntary environmental maritime industry certification program. Green Marine participants must meet 13 performance indicators that include lowering air emissions, minimizing community impacts and demonstrating environmental leadership.
- Pensacola developer Fred Hemmer has begun construction on a 316-home project in the Cantonment community, about 10 miles north of downtown Pensacola. The first homes are expected to be completed by mid- 2022. Hemmer Consulting owns 1,500 acres in the Cantonment area. The land is zoned for about 8,000 homes, as well as some 500,000 square feet of commercial space, says Hemmer. A second phase calls for about 400 homes.
- St. Joe Co. has reached an agreement with IHG Hotels and Resorts to build a Hotel Indigo in the downtown Panama City marina district. Construction of the $20-million, five-story, 124-room bayfront hotel is scheduled to begin by late spring. In addition, a new Hilton Garden Inn constructed by St. Joe is on track to open this summer at Bay county’s Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. The hotel has 143 rooms and is one of three hotels currently being built by the company in Bay County.
- Bank of America has awarded Florida A&M University $1 million to advance racial equality and help foster economic opportunity and job growth. The grant is part of the bank’s $25-million nationwide program to fund specific institutions educating Black and Hispanic students.
- The University of West Florida has been redesignated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as the hub for the Southeast Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity. Since 2017, UWF’s Center for Cybersecurity has served as the lead for colleges and universities in five Southeastern states, including Florida. “UWF has developed a number of partnerships with key players in cybersecurity that prepare our students for successful careers and address the global cyber-security workforce shortage,” says UWF President Martha D. Saunders.
- United Airlines has begun daily nonstop flights to Denver from Pensacola International Airport. United joins Frontier Airlines in offering the only non-stop flights from Pensacola to Denver, although Frontier’s service is not daily.
- Boutique Air, based in San Francisco, has begun direct flights from Pensacola to Muscle Shoals, Ala. The new route was established to promote regional and business tourism, says airport Director Matt Coughlin.
Read more in Florida Trend's March issue.
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