Skip to content
Fpl free solar panels. Please log in to continue

Fpl free solar panels. Please log in to continue

    Florida’s Solar Community Program To Be Inclusive

    It can be tough to change the way things have always been done.

    Let’s look at an example: while in the long run, solar energy systems are cheaper and more sustainable than fossil fuels, it costs money to set up the solar panels in the first place. That’s why incentives like a solar community program are so important. Lots of people – maybe even you – want to make the switch to cleaner energy, but aren’t sure how.

    FPL’s Community Solar Program

    Right here in Florida, the FPL (Florida Power and Light) is taking steps to ease people in the Sunshine State like you and I into solar power. Called SolarTogether, the FPL is investing in a whopping 1,500 MW of solar panels. These solar panels will be for anybody to use in a community. Want to switch to solar energy? Now you can try it out. All you have to do is subscribe to the solar-powered community grid through the program. Subscribing to the community solar panels means you get a credit on your electricity bill.

    No matter how accessible a community program is, if money’s involved, there’s a little bit of risk. The FPL aims to help low-income families join the SolarTogether program, too. Through free home audits that help save money plus a one-year payback period with a guarantee that their energy bills won’t increase, families eligible for the program will save an estimated 450,300. The SolarTogether program is setting aside about 37.5 MW just for participating low-income families.

    FPL says even non-subscribing community members will benefit from the program, too. How? It’s going to save big bucks on energy generation for the whole area due to swapping to a more sustainable energy source.

    What If I Want My Own?

    While the solar community program is a great opportunity, some people may still want their own solar energy system. Lucky for you, we at Fafco Solar make setting up your own home solar energy system easy. You get a free quote, and we also help customers pick out the best options for them, such as what type of solar panel they want.

    Get your own solar panels and a backup battery, so that even when your house generates extra solar power, you can store it for later.

    Whether you like the idea of a solar community program or having your own system, technology is advancing in a way that both options are within grasp. Either way, communities are working together towards more sustainable, renewable forms of energy.


    Florida Power and Light (FPL), in collaboration with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), Vote Solar, and Walmart has officially filed a settlement to establish the nation’s largest community solar, after announcing plans for the program in the spring.

    free, solar, panels, continue

    The program, named SolarTogether will be the biggest in the United States by a pretty wide margin, a piece of the larger 30×30 program that aims to install 30,000,000 solar panels by 2030, being described by SACE as 30×30’s ‘backbone.’

    With the settlement also come new inclusions into the program, most of which are designed to provide inclusion for low-income Florida residents. The provisions are all about saving money, not only for low-income residents, but the rate paying body as a whole.

    The updated proposal sets out to allow roughly 10,000 low income households to participate in SolarTogether. Subscribers will have a one year payback period, with a “hold harmless” provision to ensure that there is never an increase in their utility bills. Also offered to these customers, as well as all subscribers is a free home energy audit. FPL anticipates the measures will save participants 450,300 over the life of the program.

    As for non-low-income customers, the utility anticipates to save millions of dollars on their bills due to the fuel cost and avoided generation savings that come from the ever-falling of solar generation.

    So just how large is SolarTogether? 50 MW? 200 MW? Think bigger: 1.49 GW over 20 projects, with six expected to be completed by 2020 and the remaining 14 to be completed by 2021. For those of you who are starting to do the math and are thinking back to the Orlando hydrogen project from yesterday, yes, all of the projects in solar together will be 74.5 MW of powerful community solar.

    This is worth note all alone, as the vast majority of community solar projects are in the 1-5 MW range, with some, previously considered massive, outliers pushing the boundary to 20 MW. The previous definition of what it means to have community solar is now obsolete.

    Actually, forget this being the biggest community solar program in the United States. This is bigger than ALL of the community solar projects in the United States, with a little extra breathing room. According to SEIA’s most recent data, the United States as a whole has a total installed community solar capacity of 1,298 MW.

    What’s even more impressive, is that, depending on how much solar goes on-line in North Carolina by the time of the last project in SolarTogether‘s completion in 2021, Florida will almost surely take the claim for the second largest state solar energy market in the entire country.

    The program is projected to generate an estimated 139 million in net savings for all FPL customers, not just subscribers, which is extra impressive given the company’s low utility rates. Subscribers will receive direct credits on their monthly electric bill. With the avoided cost savings referenced above and the bill credits, subscribers are anticipated to achieve a simple payback on their subscription within seven years.

    These subscribers are varied, as FPL boasts that municipalities, large national retail chains, universities, banks, restaurants and schools are all represented in the over 200 customers that have have committed to participate. This subscriber base is highlighted by 7-Eleven, the City of Sarasota, Broward College and Florida Atlantic University.

    This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact:


    Tim Sylvia was an editor at pv magazine USA. Tim covered project development, legal issues and renewable energy legislation, as well as contributed to the daily Morning Brief.

    FPL solar power farm goes online in Clay County

    To continue reading, you will need to either log in to your subscriber account, or purchase a new subscription. If you are a current print subscriber, you can set up a free website account and connect your subscription to it by clicking here. Otherwise, click here to view your options for subscribing.

    Single day pass

    You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for 450.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

    FPL solar power farm goes online in Clay County

    GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Florida Power and Light Company solar energy farm now recently opened in the county, and it’s capable of powering 15,000 homes each year.

    The Magnolia Springs Solar Energy Center is a 74.5-megawatt center with 280,980 solar panels that creates clean, emissions-free solar energy. It’s another stone laid in FPL’s pathway to its big 30-by-30 goal, which is its name for its initiative to install 30 million solar panels by 2030.

    “It really is a beautiful site,” FPL external affairs manager Jim Bush said. “It’s something the entire county can be proud of. Florida is in the midst of largest solar expansion in history. and [Clay County] is a part of that.”

    FPL is anticipating being 30% complete with its 30-by-30 plan by the end of this year, bringing it one step closer to reaching its goal. Florida will be home to 11,000 megawatts of solar energy when that happens, which is enough energy to power two million homes, Bush said.

    “Once 30-by-30 is complete. 40% of our power will be generated from emission-free sources and 20% of our fuel portfolio will be from solar energy,” Bush said. “Florida will be a world leader in solar energy production.”

    Bush said Clay County became part of its power portfolio after taking a look at the “geographical dispersity” of the company. Basically, the power company needs to spread its solar centers throughout the state and Clay County had a perfect 425-acre spot about five miles south of Green Cove Springs and west of U.S. Highway 17 near Leno Road.

    The energy produced by the sun and the solar panels at the Magnolia Springs ties directly into FPL’s wider power grid and serves customers in the surrounding area for customers all over the state. Bush said a solar center isn’t just for providing power to those in the close proximity, but to those all around the state.

    “We also have a program called Solar Together,” Bush said. “Those that want more of their power to be solar can subscribe to this program. We build the solar and they receive the credits, which will overtime outweigh their usage and help lower their overall energy bill.”

    Anyone who’s a customer of FPL has access to the company’s “clean, emissions-free energy.”

    “Solar energy has been around for many, many years,” Bush said. “People have been using it since the 1950s. The same [solar power] technology is powering NASA satellites in space. It’s become more efficient to generate solar and it’s cost effective to add it to our system. There’s no net cost to our customers.

    “That’s why there is a larger adoption rate of solar now than in the past – it’s a win-win all around. It’s great for the environment and it helps us meet our growing energy needs.”

    Bush said solar energy offsets carbon emissions greatly – the new Clay County center is the equivalent of removing 14,000 vehicles from the road each year – and by design, it doesn’t generate waste.

    “It’s great for the environment and it’s great for the economy,” Bush said. “[Magnolia Springs] created 200-something jobs at peak, local and regional, during construction. It also has the lasting impact of adding to the county’s tax base with little to no demand for public service. It’s a great win all around.”

    One thing that makes Magnolia Springs so efficient is its sunflower-like design.

    “The site has just under 281,000 panels and it’s actually a trapping system,” Bush said. “The panels follow the sun throughout the day, like a Sunflower does, which adds to its efficiency.”

    There are currently 37 solar centers in Florida, including Magnolia Springs, with another seven more under construction which are expected to be operational by the end of the year.

    What Factors Affect the Cost of Solar Panel Systems in Florida?

    Solar power systems in FL typically range from around 16,000 up to 26,500 after the federal tax credit is taken. In the sections below, we’ll discuss the primary factors that affect local solar system costs.

    The Equipment You Install

    The more efficient your solar panels are, the more expensive they will be. But because Florida receives so much sunlight throughout the year (around 230 days of sunshine), you may not need the latest and greatest solar technology to capture enough solar energy to power a home. This can help to reduce your overall project costs.

    However, Florida is prone to extreme weather — hurricanes and tropical storms are becoming routine. If you live in an area that experiences intense winds, it may be Smart to go with a brand of panel known for its durability, like REC. It may also be a good idea to pick a brand with a rock-solid warranty or a warranty offering extended coverage. These may add to your project costs as well.

    Thanks to net metering, solar batteries don’t make the most sense economically in Florida. However, if your area frequently experiences severe weather, you may also want to consider a solar backup battery as an important investment. Batteries store energy and supply your home with power in the event of an outage, allowing you to stay powered even through public outages. Whether or not you choose a battery as part of your installation may be the largest determining factor of cost for Floridians.

    Talk to your local installer to see what type of solar equipment is best for your needs.

    System Size

    The most significant installation cost factor when going solar will almost always be the size of your system. Your solar array is sized according to your energy demands and the number of panels your roof can support. Greater energy usage will drive up how large your system needs to be until your home can no longer take additional panels.

    A smaller 9 kW system designed to meet moderate energy demands costs around 16,000 in Florida. If you have above-average energy demands, you might need a system at the larger end of the size range. A 15 kW system would drive your price closer to the 26,500 mark.

    It’s important to remember that your system should always be sized specifically for your home and energy usage. Systems smaller than you need won’t save nearly as much money, and systems larger than you need are far less cost-effective.

    For example, installing a 10 kW system could save you tens of thousands of dollars over time on your utility bills. On the same home, a 5 kW system would cost less but also might not save nearly as much for the money invested.

    Your Solar Installer

    The solar panel installation company you choose to handle your solar project is another important cost factor to consider. Your system is priced based on a few things:

    • The equipment costs
    • The labor to design your system
    • The time it takes to pull permits
    • The labor to install and commission your solar array

    Every company can charge different for the equipment installed. Even an equally-sized system consisting of the exact same equipment brands can vary in price among installers because of upcharges or discounts on the equipment costs.

    Additionally, the labor charges can vary from company to company. This is one reason why it’s important to shop around to find the best solar company for your Florida home; you could end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars less by choosing one installer over another.

    Are There Any Maintenance Costs of Going Solar in Florida?

    Thankfully, solar energy systems are, for the most part, fairly maintenance-free. Florida receives plenty of rain to wash pollen, dust and dirt off of your panels to maintain maximum efficiency. Beyond keeping your panels clean, your system should be fairly set-it-and-forget-it.

    If you do run into issues with your solar panel system, chances are high that they will result from the extreme weather that frequents the Sunshine State. Hurricanes, cyclones and tropical storms can all put your outdoor equipment at risk of damage, especially if debris is blown into the panels.

    Luckily, most of the solar brands available in Florida include lengthy and robust warranties that keep your system protected from significant damage and reduce the need for out-of- maintenance costs.

    With the extreme weather in mind, roofs in Florida do need replacement more often than those in most other states. Your installer should let you know if they recommend roof replacement before installing your PV system.

    However, if you need replacement afterward, you could be looking at charges between 500 and 450,000 to remove and reinstall your panels before and after your roof replacement.

    Typical Costs of Solar Providers In Florida

    According to the SEIA, Florida is home to nearly 200 local solar installation companies, and residents also have plenty of options in terms of national and regional installers. Costs vary among each of these, and it can be time-consuming to get quotes from even a fraction of them.

    In the chart below, we’ll include some relative pricing for some of the more popular installation companies in Florida.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *