Rebates for Florida Schools Going Solar

The Florida Legislature, led by Representative Randy Johnson, passed a bill that provides rebates and educational materials to approximately 30 educational institutions for Florida’s PV for Schools Educational Enhancement Program.

Tallahassee, Florida, July 21, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The program, which is funded through the Florida Department of Community Affairs/Florida Energy Office and administered by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), provides rebates of US$5 per Watt to applicants that install grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems on educational institutions throughout Florida. An additional rebate of US$1 per watt is available to applicants that install battery back up systems on schools that have been designated emergency shelters. The maximum award available is US$25,000. On the FSEC website, the center recently announced that because they quickly received so many applications, all of the US$600,000 they had available for program funds have since been awarded. Through the initiative, systems have already been installed at an electrical training facility in Jacksonville and at a vocational school in Winter Garden. Another system, sponsored by Gulf Power, was installed at a high school in Fort Walton Beach. Electric utilities have proved to be the biggest customers for the program. All four of the state’s major investor-owned utilities are sponsoring systems in their service territories. These utilities will cover all or a portion of the costs not covered through the rebate program. Several of Florida’s municipal utilities are sponsoring projects as well. The FSEC also provides educational materials and teacher training to any school that participates in the program. Through a newly developed website, students will have access to a variety of educational tools, including real-time PV performance data. Educators can use the website to download lesson plans, sample test problems, and retrieve general educational materials about renewable energy and energy efficiency. FSEC will also host six regional workshops for participating educators to learn more about how to incorporate the newly developed solar education tools and website into a multi-disciplinary educational program.

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