FPL Announces Plans for the Largest Community Solar Program in the U.S.

13 Mar 2019

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) filed a proposal with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) for a new community solar program that would offer FPL customers the opportunity to directly participate in Florida's transformation to a world leader in solar energy.

Through this voluntary program, participating customers will help accelerate the cost-effective growth of solar in Floridaby subscribing to a portion of new solar power capacity, and in return, they will receive credits that are expected to reduce their monthly bills over time. 

FPL SolarTogetherSM will significantly expand solar energy in Florida. Pending PSC approval, FPL plans to install 1,490 megawatts of new universal solar at 20 new solar power plants across FPL's service territory to meet anticipated customer enrollment in the program. Built cost-effectively, the new solar power plants attributed to the program are projected to generate an estimated $139 million in net savings for customers over the long term, primarily from avoided fuel and other system savings. Participating customers will receive direct credits for the savings on their monthly bills, and the program is designed to also contribute a portion of the savings to all customers, which will help keep fuel costs low for everyone.

If approved, FPL SolarTogether will be the largest community solar program in the United States. According to the Solar Energy Industry of America's latest information, a total of 1,298 megawatts of community solar has been installed in the U.S. through the third quarter of last year.

FPL studied community solar programs offered throughout the country, including Florida. The result is a next generation solar option for customers that offers flexibility, convenience and is not subject to the confines of their location. Program participants will not be tied to a long-term contract and can terminate or reduce their subscription at any time. In addition, because the subscription is associated with a customer account and not a physical address, program participants who move within FPL's service area can maintain their subscription benefits. FPL expects program participants to achieve a simple payback on their subscription within seven years. FPL also will retire Renewable Energy Certificates or RECs on behalf of participants who are looking to meet sustainability goals. 

The new energy centers built through the program will increase the use of solar power on the energy grid, helping to offset the use of other power plants fueled by non-renewable resources. As a result, all FPL customers, including those who do not participate in FPL SolarTogether, will benefit from the fuel savings produced by the new solar facilities. The first six solar plants, each of which will have about 300,000 solar panels and be capable of generating 74.5 megawatts of solar, are scheduled to be operational in early 2020, with the remaining 14 facilities planned for 2021. FPL has already secured enough land to build all of these plants and the company plans to announce the individual locations in the future. 

"FPL's SolarTogether program provides an innovative approach to addressing business and residential needs for embracing clean energy in Florida and cost-effectively expanding the Sunshine State's renewable energy footprint," said Tim Center, executive director of Tallahassee-based, Sustainable Florida. "This initiative chalks up major wins for Florida's environment and sustainability."

Florida Power & Light | http://www.fpl.com