March 15, 2019 Read More →

Florida Power & Light proposes largest community solar program in U.S.

Utility Dive:

Florida Power & Light (FPL) filed plans for what would be the largest community solar project in the country to state regulators on Wednesday.

FPL’s SolarTogether project would consist of 20 solar installations totaling 1,490 MW built over the next two years, pending approval from the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). That would more than double current U.S. community solar capacity, which was at 1,387 MW through 2018, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

In January, FPL unveiled its 30-by-30 project, which would install 30 million PV panels by 2030, aiming to reduce emissions 67%. SolarTogether is “another major step forward” within that plan, Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL, said in a statement.

Community solar additions are estimated to reach up to 3 GW over the next several years, as the programs become popular ways for utilities to improve customer solar access and increase ratepayer options. More than 40 states plus Washington, D.C. have at least one community solar program, according to a 2018 report from Vote Solar, but only 19 have policy-enabled solar markets.

The first six solar installations will generate 74.5 MW of solar across 300,000 panels each, scheduled to be operational in 2020, with the remaining 14 scheduled for operation in 2021. The utility said in its release that it has already secured the necessary land and will disclose locations at a later date.

Customers who subscribe to the SolarTogether project would sign up for a portion of new capacity, which they could cancel at any time. The utility estimates the project will save ratepayers $139 million “over the long term,” primarily through phasing out more expensive fuels.

More: FPL proposes country’s largest community solar project at 1,490 MW

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