Imagine enjoying your favorite sporting event or a day at the park without constantly swatting away pesky mosquitoes. The City of Pensacola and Escambia County are partnering with Gulf Power on a project that could make those outdoor events more pleasurable.
In perhaps one of its most buzz-worthy projects, Gulf Power is working with the makers of DynaTrap® to test an innovative mosquito control prototype in a pilot project with the city and county to help control the mosquito populations in those areas tested. The traps mount to outdoor dedicated lighting poles and other structures.
The mosquito control prototypes will be tested in several public locations around the community such as the Southwest Sports Complex, the Escambia County Equestrian Center, Maritime Park, Bayview Park and Roger Scott Sports Complex.
"Mosquitoes can cause itchy bites and even spread dangerous diseases, and this high-tech trap offers an alternative to chemical pesticides," said Kimberly Blair, Gulf Power spokesperson. "The goal of the new pilot project with the city and county is to develop an easy and effective mosquito-control measure.”
DynaTrap is a technology-driven indoor/outdoor insect trap that protects against mosquitoes. Unlike other bug prevention solutions, DynaTrap is chemical- and pesticide-free and environmentally friendly. The device uses UV light and CO2 to attract mosquitos. In this innovative prototype, mosquitoes are drawn to the device and the mosquitos are vacuumed in and eliminated.
Tim Day, Escambia County’s Natural Resources Management Department Senior Manager, said the county is excited to partner with Gulf Power to innovatively reduce the mosquito population in public spaces without harming beneficial pollinating insects that are sometimes negatively impacted by chemical sprays.
“Escambia County mosquito control uses larvicide to kill mosquitos before they fly and adulticide fog as needed.” said Day. “While still an effective program of controlling the mosquito population, there are times that mosquitos may be at a nuisance level until our staff can treat the area.”
This continuous treatment technology, Day said, is anticipated to maintain mosquito populations at very low levels in the public spaces where they are employed.
Bill Kimball, the City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation Department superintendent said he sees many benefits to participating in the mosquito control pilot project.
“We believe that mosquito control is desirable to protect public health, the environment and as a way to improve the overall quality of life,” he said. “Our hope is, this will improve the overall user experience in these parks especially during early evening hours when mosquitoes are more prevalent."
Testing will begin later this year with devices mounted to approximately 30 light poles around the area. If the pilot program proves successful, the device may be used in other parts of the city and county to fight against mosquitoes. Gulf Power also plans to offer these mosquito control units to customers in 2018 after the pilot is complete.
This is just one of the many research and pilot programs Gulf Power is spearheading. For decades, Gulf Power has led the way in the energy industry in innovation and research. Working alongside Southern Company, Gulf Power recently launched a two-year McCrary Battery Energy Storage Demonstration to demonstrate the capabilities and requirements of an energy storage system. This is designed to help industrial and commercial customers store and use energy on demand, while improving resiliency and potentially helping customers save on energy costs in the future.
Prior to the McCrary Center battery energy storage project, the energy company launched a Powerwall home battery system in partnership with SolarEdge and Tesla for several applications including rooftop solar energy storing, maximizing the impact of time-of-use rates by charging directly from the grid, and for studying the technology to see the benefits of power grid reliability and efficiency.
Gulf Power has also partnered with Southern Company and a team of utilities, universities and contractors on an Electric Power Research Institute-led project focused on overcoming the challenges of adding more and more solar energy onto the grid.
“We’re constantly broadening our industry-leading expertise to harness new technologies that not only deliver clean, safe, reliable, affordable energy, but also products to enhance lifestyles for our customers,” added Blair.
About Gulf Power
Gulf Power is an investor-owned energy provider with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 460,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. Visit online at MyGulfPower.com or on the company’s Facebook page. News information can be found at GulfPowerNews.com.