Florida Power & Light: Demand for solar outstrips capacity

Solar energy farm
Can you sell out the sun?

Thirteen months since Florida Power & Light debuted its community solar program, all its available solar power has been sold, company officials said Wednesday.

More than 48,000 residential customers have “subscribed” and another 2,000 customers are on a waiting list so they too can be part of what company officials are calling the nation’s largest community solar program. On the commercial side, demand out paces capacity, according to an FPL news release.

Company officials Wednesday hailed the interest the program is generating.

“We developed the FPL SolarTogether program because customers wanted access to clean, cost-effective solar energy, and the response to the program was almost immediate,” said Eric Silagy, President and CEO of FPL in a news release. “By participating, our dedicated FPL SolarTogether customers are encouraging the buildout of cost-effective solar across the state, making Florida the largest, most affordable and most accessible solar state in the nation.”

Subscribers to SolarTogether don’t directly receive solar power from panels they have installed at their house. Rather the 48,000 residential customers buy a subscription that pays for 20 universal solar energy centers FPL has built across the state. In return, the customers receive credits that eventually lower their electric bills.

The latest community solar center built with the help of these subscriptions, the FPL Fort Drum Solar Energy Center in Okeechobee County, began generating clean, emissions-free energy for customers at the end of June, company officials said. With the opening of the newest solar energy center, FPL has six million solar panels operational and generating wattage for the power grid SolarTogether serves.

Business and government subscriptions to the solar power program sold out one month after FPL began offering the opportunity to invest in these solar power generating centers.

Interested customers can get on the waiting list to subscribe. FPL has plans to have 30 million solar panels installed by 2030, with the sun generating 20% of the energy coursing through FPL’s power grid.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


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