Florida Power & Light Says It’s Building the World’s Largest Community Solar Program

by | Apr 2, 2019

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today filed a proposal with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) for a new community solar program that would offer FPL customers the opportunity to directly participate in Florida’s transformation to solar energy.

Through this voluntary program, participating customers will help accelerate the cost-effective growth of solar in Florida by subscribing to a portion of new solar power capacity, and in return, they will receive credits that are expected to reduce their monthly bills over time.

“We’ve been aggressively expanding solar with one goal in mind: bringing more solar to all of our customers cost-effectively while continuing to keep their bills lower than 90 percent of the country,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL.

FPL SolarTogether will significantly expand solar energy in Florida. Pending PSC approval, FPL plans to install 1,490 megawatts of new universal solar at 20 new solar power plants across FPL’s service territory to meet anticipated customer enrollment in the program. Built cost-effectively, the new solar power plants attributed to the program are projected to generate an estimated $139 million in net savings for customers over the long term, primarily from avoided fuel and other system savings. Participating customers will receive direct credits for the savings on their monthly bills, and the program is designed to also contribute a portion of the savings to all customers, which will help keep fuel costs low for everyone.

If approved, FPL SolarTogether will be the largest community solar program in the United States. According to the Solar Energy Industry of America’s latest information, a total of 1,298 megawatts of community solar has been installed in the US through the third quarter of last year.

According to FPL, this is a solar option for customers that offers flexibility, convenience and is not subject to the confines of their location. Program participants will not be tied to a long-term contract and can terminate or reduce their subscription at any time. In addition, because the subscription is associated with a customer account and not a physical address, program participants who move within FPL’s service area can maintain their subscription benefits. FPL expects program participants to achieve a simple payback on their subscription within seven years. FPL will also retire Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) on behalf of participants who are looking to meet sustainability goals.

More than 200 of FPL’s largest energy users — including municipalities, large national retail chains, universities, banks, restaurants and schools — have committed to participate, providing the foundation for such a large program.

In March, Florida legislators announced they are trying to push the state toward 100% renewable energy by 2050. State Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, and Sen. José Javier Rodríguez, D-Miami, have filed identical bills, which directs the Office of Energy within the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to create a unified plan to do just that.

According to Orlando Weekly, the plan would have Florida generating at least 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Cities in Florida such as Orlando, St. Petersburg and Tallahassee have already committed to running 100% on renewable energy within the next decades.

The bills are HB 1291 and SB 1762.

The 4th Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 13 – 15, 2019 in Denver. Learn more here.


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