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Florida Public Service Commission approves largest community solar program in the US

Community Solar
Credit: Credit: Xcel Energy
FPL’s SolarTogether program expands low-cost and clean energy, driving solar “green tariff” options

This week, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), located in Tallahassee, unanimously approved the Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) SolarTogether program. The program entails the development of 1,490 MW of solar capacity in the next two years and aims to help propel Florida as a leading provider of solar energy. Reduction of the state’s dependence on fossil fuels is a major goal of the project as well.

The program gives retail and commercial and industrial (C&I) customers the option to subscribe to blocks of solar energy capacity without a long-term commitment. FPL plans to use the capacity from the twenty 74.5-MW solar plants that has announced for the solar resources.

FPL estimates that more than 120,000 families and small businesses have expressed interest in in the program and the utility said it has pre-registered 200 customers in the proposed program, totaling 1,000 MW. 

Additionally, a settlement agreement between Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Vote Solar will create opportunities for low-income customers to participate in the program.

Read more: FPL plans nation’s largest community solar program; includes low-income focus

 “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.

“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.

Recent study shows that meeting C&I demand for renewables would drive investment of up to $1 billion a year.