Community solar projects allow customers to benefit from the economic and environmental attributes of solar energy when they don’t have the ability to invest in their own system for any number of reasons.
Florida Power & Light company is proposing to build the largest community solar program in the United States, pending regulatory review. The planned installation of 1,490 MW of new solar capacity at 20 new power plants distributed across FPL’s service territory is expected to generate an estimated $249 million in net savings for all FPL customers over the long term.
In addition to becoming the largest community solar program in the country, the new program would also be the largest voluntary low-income solar offering in the country. Low-income households are typically unable to benefit from solar energy because of not having the means to invest in the technology. The new SolarTogether program will have more than 35 megawatts of capacity dedicated to low-income Florida families. Solar energy is a critical tool for enabling low-income families to tap into energy savings.
The SolarTogether program would provide direct savings in the form of bill credits, making solar an affordable option for any customer. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Vote Solar joined with FPL to help design the program to include a low-income component and request Florida Public Service Commission approval. There is broad support for the program from universities, county and city governments, and private companies. In addition, more than 90,000 residential and small business customers have already signed up to receive more information. The utility hopes to receive regulatory approval in time to launch during the first quarter of 2020.
FPL plans nation’s largest community solar program; includes low-income focus
Photo, posted March 8, 2018, courtesy of Babcock Ranch via Flickr.
Earth Wise is a production of WAMC Northeast Public Radio.