Solar

Utility Exceeds Solar PV Goals

Although hopes were high for utility JEA’s introduction of Jacksonville’s first solar incentive program on Earth Day last year, few expected they would shatter their first year goals by 300 percent.

Jacksonville, Florida – May 6, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Even before creating the Solar Incentive Program, JEA was a major contributor to solar power in Florida. According to the company, JEA remains the largest producer of solar power in the state, and the only utility in the nation to install solar systems in every high school in its service territory. JEA’s successful Solar Incentive Program takes Jacksonville one step further in its renewable power leadership. “Participation in our Solar Incentive Program has exceeded everyone’s expectations,” said Ken Chascin, JEA Product Development Coordinator, who manages the program for JEA. “People have been so enthusiastic about it, in fact, that we routinely get requests from people all over Florida wanting to know if they can get in on our program in their hometowns.” But only JEA customers are eligible for our solar incentive program. The fact that JEA will pay up to a third of the cost of a solar power system for your home or business, entices lots of people to want to participate. Last year, in celebration of Earth Day 2002, JEA first announced its Solar Incentive Program, which was designed to increase solar power and solar water heating in Jacksonville through partnerships between JEA and its customers. The goal for the new program was to install enough solar power systems to produce the equivalent of 3 MW of peak power over the next five years. Now, at the end of just the first year of the program, JEA has helped customers install 291 solar power systems in Jacksonville that together produce more than 2 MW of peak power. JEA offers both solar PV and solar thermal systems for residential use. A typical family of four can spend up to US$27 per month on their electric bills just for heating water for clothes washing, showers, etc. The program is designed to increase the amount of renewable power in Jacksonville through partnerships between JEA and its customers. Both costs and benefits are shared in the program. Customers pay approximately two-thirds of the cost, and get all the free power produced by the systems. JEA pays about one-third of the cost and gets to count the power capacity toward its clean power goals. The partnerships also provide benefits to the community by reducing air emissions. In Nov. 1999, JEA made a commitment to clean and green energy by setting goals to have four percent of its power generating capacity from clean and green sources by 2007 and seven and a half percent by 2015. Renewable, or clean and green energy, is typically more expensive than traditional sources of energy like gas or coal but many customers opt to pay a small premium for clean energy. With the passage of Earth day 2003, JEA’s solar incentive program available to every JEA electric customer.