Sunshine statement: Florida Public Service Commission paves way for landmark solar energy ‘green tariff’ program
The Florida PSC has approved of Florida Power & Light‘s (FPL’s) new customer-driven solar energy program and tariff, which makes FPL’s program the largest customer solar “green tariff” option currently offered by a utility in the nation.
FPL’s proposed SolarTogether community solar program gives customers (retail, commercial and industrial) the option to subscribe to blocks of solar energy capacity to offset their energy needs with no long-term commitment. The solar power resources will come from 20 dedicated 74.5 megawatt (MW) solar power plants to be developed by FPL in Florida.
The program is projected to generate millions of dollars in savings and aims to meet the growing demand for solar power from small and large customers. FPL estimates that more than 120,000 families and small businesses have expressed interest to participate in SolarTogether. Additionally, commercial customers like Broward County and Walmart wanted to see it approved by the PSC.
An important feature of a settlement agreement between multiple parties including Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Vote Solar created an opportunity for low-income customers to also participate in this novel program.
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“We applaud the Florida Public Service Commission for embracing a new, innovative solar program that will greatly expand access to solar power for customers, including low-income customers, and generate millions of dollars in projected economic benefits,” stated Stephen A. Smith, Executive Director at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “There was a time when customers paid little mind to the source of their power. No longer. The Commission’s unanimous approval delivers a program that will help expand low-cost, clean, solar power options for the Sunshine State.”
“At a time when customer demand for renewable energy is growing, the approval of SolarTogether launches FPL and the state of Florida into a leadership position for customer renewable energy programs—which is good for residential customers, good for businesses, and good for the Sunshine State,” said Gloria Li, policy associate for Advanced Energy Economy. “While there are some elements we think could be improved in a second phase, SolarTogether is a huge step forward in a state where large customers formerly had no options to choose renewable energy at scale.”
“We hope to see other utilities follow suit to meet the significant renewable energy demand among commercial and industrial customers in Florida—which could reach nearly 7,000 MW over the next 10 years, bringing billions of dollars of investment and up to 60,000 jobs to meet this demand across the state,” said Li.
According to FPL, the utility had pre-registered 200 customers in their proposed program, totaling 1,000 MW. FPL asked for Phase I approval to build and operate the 20 solar power plants, grouped into five projects, totaling 1,490 MW to meet this demand.
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