With no shortage of sunlight, solar power is an attractive option in Florida. To help ramp up the appeal, the state’s largest electric utility has thrown in some generous financial incentives.
This summer, Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) is offering rebates to customers who install solar-powered upgrades to their homes and businesses. Rebates will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis for installations made in 2011. Eligible projects include residential and business solar water heaters and photovoltaic systems. Rebates vary depending on the type of installation.
For example, the residential solar water heating program will provide $1,000 per installed solar water heater. For businesses that install solar water heaters, the incentive is tied to the size of the system installed, equal to $30 per 1,000 British thermal unit-hours per day of the maximum rated output of the installed system. The residential solar PV program will provide $2,000 per kilowatt (kW) of the rated direct-current output of the system up to a maximum of $20,000. The business PV program will provide a variable incentive based on the output of the system up to $50,000 per site during the life of the program. It will be calculated as $2 per direct current (DC) watt nameplate rating of the solar panel up to the first 10 kW, $1.50 per DC watt nameplate rating of the solar panel from 10 kW up to 25 kW, and $1 per DC watt nameplate rating of the solar panel greater than 25 kW.
Also, FPL will connect customers’ solar PV systems to the electric grid through its net-metering program, allowing customers to receive a credit for the electricity they produce but don’t use.
FPL expects the rebate programs to reach their funding cap quickly based on demand. It estimates more than 5,000 rebates will be available to residential and business customers depending on the size of the systems they install. Specifically, it estimates the solar water heater program to offer rebates to about 4,500 residential customers and 40 business customers and the PV program to offer rebates to about 400 residential and 80 business customers.
According to FPL, approximately 1,100 of its 4.5 million customers operate their own solar generation. The rebates are part of a new pilot program approved by the Florida Public Service Commission.