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

Located in St. Lucie County, the FPL Loggerhead Solar Energy Center celebrates the area’s favorite part-time resident: the iconic Loggerhead sea turtle. Credit: FPL
Located in St. Lucie County, the FPL Loggerhead Solar Energy Center celebrates the area’s favorite part-time resident: the iconic Loggerhead sea turtle. Credit: FPL

Florida Power & Light Company today announced that it is garnering more support from solar stakeholders for its FPL SolarTogether, a proposed new offering for FPL customers that would be the largest community solar program in the U.S., pending regulatory review.

In addition to the program being the largest in the U.S., FPL said that its SolarTogether would be the largest voluntary low-income solar offering in the country. The planned installation of 1,490 MW of new universal solar capacity at 20 new solar power plants across FPL’s service territory would generate an estimated $249 million in net savings for all FPL customers over the long term, primarily from avoided fuel and other system savings.

FPL’s typical electric bill is approximately 30 percent lower than the national average, said the company. The FPL SolarTogether program would significantly expand access to solar energy in Florida while providing a direct benefit to FPL customers – including low-income households and other customers that may not have the financial means or ability to invest in their own system, allowing them to benefit from the economic and environmental attributes of solar energy.

FPL said the SolarTogether program would provide direct savings in the form of bill credits, making solar an affordable option for any customer. The utility hopes to receive regulatory approval in time to launch during the first quarter of 2020.

Growing support

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Vote Solar joined with FPL to refine the company’s program design to include a low-income component and request Florida Public Service Commission approval.

Other supporters of FPL SolarTogether include Sustainable Florida, Broward College, Florida Atlantic University, 7-Eleven, the counties of Brevard, Broward and Miami-Dade and major cities such as Sarasota, Coral Springs and West Palm Beach. In addition, more than 90,000 residential and small business customers have already signed up to receive more information.

“We are proud to have strongly supported the FPL SolarTogether effort since its inception. This bold program benefits all FPL customers and significantly grows the important solar resource in the state. We were pleased to work with Florida Power & Light and other parties to get the strongest possible outcomes for all customers, including low-income customers, to be able to participate in this innovative SolarTogether program,” said Dr. Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

“With over 35 megawatts dedicated to low-income Florida families, FPL’s SolarTogether program now stands to be a true model for the rest of the country,” said Katie Chiles Ottenweller, southeast director of Vote Solar. “Solar is a critical tool to help Florida’s low-income families tap into energy savings. This program is an important first step to ensuring all Floridians have access to our state’s growing clean energy economy.”

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