Published: Aug 19, 2011 10:40 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 19, 2011 11:02 PM EDT

NAPLES, Fla.- It's your money- and Florida Gulf Coast University is spending over $200,000 in taxpayer dollars for solar paneling.

164 precisely-placed solar panels promise to cut FGCU's Kapnick Center's electricity bill by up to 80%.

"When these panels are going to be working the hardest and producing the most electricity, is when FPL actually charges the most for their electricity on a peak load demand," said John Spinnler of FAFCO Solar Energy, who's leading the project.

The university's satellite building is located in the Naples Botanical Garden, a venue already accustomed to using the sun's powerful rays to fuel their water pumping system.

"I think implementing solar here at the Kapnick Center is perfect. It really shows FGCU's interest in saving the environment. It's also a great fit for a botanical garden," Chad Washburn of the Naples Botanical Garden said Friday.

The solar panel project comes at a cost: $238,000, paid for by Florida taxpayers.

Still, FAFCO Solar says this particular system is projected to curb around $1,000 off the center's electricity bill each month and last longer than traditional solar panels.

"With these systems, they're sealed, and they're designed to last a lot longer. So we're looking at a life expectancy of 25 years plus," Spinnler said.

The project is scheduled for completion in two weeks, promising a sustainable way to save money.

"Over the course of its lifetime, you're talking about thousands and thousands of dollars," Spinnler said.

FPL's Solar Rebate Program helped pay for a portion of the project. FGCU says the rest of $238,000 was paid through state dollars and a contribution by the Naples Botanical Garden.

According to projections, the system will pay for itself in about 20 years.