10/09/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/09/2019 15:02
JUNO BEACH, Fla. - Florida Power & Light Company today announced growing support for FPL SolarTogether, a proposed new offering for FPL customers that would be the largest community solar program in the U.S., pending regulatory review. 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 request Florida Public Service Commission approval.
Other supporters of FPL SolarTogether include Sustainable Florida, Broward College, Florida Atlantic University, 7-Eleven, the counties of Brevard, Broward and Miami-Dade and major cities such as Sarasota, Coral Springs and West Palm Beach. In addition, more than 90,000 residential and small business customers have already signed up to receive more information.
'We continue to advance solar energy across Florida, and this program will help more of our customers directly participate in supporting solar than ever before,' said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. '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.'
FPL SolarTogether would not only be the largest community solar program in the U.S., but also the largest voluntary low-income solar offering in the country. The planned installation of 1,490 megawatts of new universal solar capacity at 20 new solar power plants across FPL's service territory would generate an estimated $249 million in net savings for all FPL customers over the long term, primarily from avoided fuel and other system savings.
'We are proud to have strongly supported the FPL SolarTogether effort since its inception. This bold program benefits all FPL customers and significantly grows the important solar resource in the state. We were pleased to work with Florida Power & Light and other parties to get the strongest possible outcomes for all customers, including low-income customers, to be able to participate in this innovative SolarTogether program,' said Dr. Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
'With over 35 megawatts dedicated to low-income Florida families, FPL's SolarTogether program now stands to be a true model for the rest of the country,' said Katie Chiles Ottenweller, southeast director of Vote Solar. 'Solar is a critical tool to help Florida's low-income families tap into energy savings. This program is an important first step to ensuring all Floridians have access to our state's growing clean energy economy.'
FPL's typical electric bill continues to be approximately 30 percent lower than the national average while the company is one of the cleanest in the country. The FPL SolarTogether program would significantly expand access to solar energy in Florida while providing a direct benefit to FPL customers - including low-income households and other customers that may not have the financial means or ability to invest in their own system, allowing them to benefit from the economic and environmental attributes of solar energy.
'At this point, the biggest obstacle to moving this voluntary program forward is the Office of Public Counsel, who has forced an extensive delay in the regulatory process,' Silagy said. 'It's disappointing that Public Counsel is holding up a program that is voluntary, benefits all customers and has received such widespread support. Despite OPC opposition, FPL will work hard to gain approval for this program and remain committed to making Florida a world leader in solar generation and providing all our customers with the choice and opportunity to participate,' Silagy said.
FPL SolarTogether is designed to remove many of the financial burdens associated with private solar generating systems while also providing direct savings in the form of bill credits, making it an affordable option for any customer. Participants could also utilize the program to meet state and federal sustainability goals. FPL hopes to receive regulatory approval in time to launch during the first quarter of 2020. More details about the program are available at www.FPL.com/solartogether.
Florida's largest generator of solar energy
Earlier this year, FPL announced its '30-by-30' plan to install 30 million new solar panels across its service territory by 2030 - a plan that would make Florida a world leader in solar energy generation. The company continues to find innovate solutions to advance affordable clean energy for its customers and Florida's growing population.
FPL currently operates 18 solar power plants, including two that feature advanced energy storage systems, in addition to hundreds of smaller solar installations, totaling approximately 1,250 megawatts of universal solar capacity. The company's largest solar facilities include:
For more information, visit www.FPL.com/solar.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest energy company in the United States as measured by retail electricity produced and sold, serving more than 5 million customer accounts or an estimated 10 million+ people across the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 30% lower than the latest national average and among the lowest in the U.S. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98%, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all electric companies nationwide. The company was recognized in 2018 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International for the fifth consecutive year. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,700 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune's 2019 list of 'World's Most Admired Companies.' NextEra Energy is also the parent company of Gulf Power Company, which serves more than 460,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida, and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.GulfPower.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Since 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has worked to promote responsible energy choices to ensure clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org.
Since 2002, Vote Solar has been working to lower solar costs and expand solar access. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Vote Solar advocates for state policies and programs needed to repower our electric grid with clean energy. Learn more at www.votesolar.org.