FPL SolarTogether, a new project announced by Florida Power & Light (FPL) is expected to almost double the amount of community solar online in the United States.
Currently, there are 1,523 megawatts (MW) of community solar installed in the United States. FPL’s project is designed to provide an additional 1,490 MW, pending approval by the Florida Public Service Commission.
Three-fourths of the output would be reserved for commercial customers. Of the remaining 25% available for residential customers, 15% would be reserved for traditional residential customers, and the remaining 10% would be reserved for low-income residential customers.
In a press release, the utility said there is growing support for the project, which it calls “the largest community solar program in the U.S.” It also stated, “The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Vote Solar joined with FPL to refine the company’s program design to include a low-income component and required Florida Public Service Commission approval.”
Local supporters of the project include Sustainable Florida, Broward College, Florida Atlantic University, 7-Eleven, three counties (Brevard, Broward, and Miami-Dade) and a number of major cities (including Sarasota, Coral Springs, and West Palm Beach). In addition, according to FPL, over 90,000 business and residential customers have already signed up to receive more information.
“Based on the substantial interest and support that we’ve received on this innovative, voluntary, and affordable program from such a diverse array of customers, community partners, businesses, local governments, and national clean energy advocacy groups, we’re confident that the time is right for this program,” said Eric Silagy, FPL’s president and CEO.
According to FPL, the 20 new solar plants across the utility’s service territory that make up the 1,490 MW project would generate an estimated $239 million in net savings for the utility’s customers over the long term, as a result of avoiding alterative fuel costs, as well as other system savings.