October marks National Energy Awareness Month, and the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today celebrated it by recognizing an innovative solar array powering a 40,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility—the only plant in Florida fully powered through net metering. This project’s success stems from Florida using net metering to jump start solar generation in the state.
PSC Commissioner Jimmy Patronis joined Senator Denise Grimsley and Representative Halsey Beshears to tour the solar system that powers VizCo-US, the Visionary Company, that produces plastic injection-molded drip pans, alarms, and pipe grips for water heaters. Jefferson County Commissioners also participated.
“Energy Awareness Month reminds us how our energy habits can make a difference to reduce our energy usage and our utility bills,” said Commissioner Patronis. “Today we highlight and celebrate the contributions of VizCo—a business committed to advancing energy innovation and efficiency—as we recognize the importance of renewable energy in our nation.”
VizCo CEO Chris Cantolino, passionate about creative Florida manufacturing and economic efficiency, said, “Solar photovoltaic is a smart business choice. Reducing and controlling operational costs increases a business’s competitive edge. We use a lot of energy, but we try to be extremely efficient and appreciate being recognized for our efforts.”
The PSC’s net metering rule allows solar power generators, such as VizCo, to tie into the power grid and gain credit for the power they contribute. Any excess energy that VizCo produces during daylight hours is credited to the company against what electricity it uses at night, on rainy days, or during other periods when its electric consumption exceeds its solar system’s output. Its utility, Duke Energy Florida, LLC (DEF), then bills VizCo only for its “net” energy use.
VizCo is currently working with Wilson & Associates to obtain an energy grant to further the company’s vision to manufacture essential homeowner products powered by renewable energy.
Since its inception by a presidential proclamation in 1991, the U.S. Department of Energy has sponsored Energy Awareness Month in October to promote smart energy choices, while also highlighting economic and job growth, protection of our environment, and increased energy independence. The PSC observes Energy Awareness Month annually with events to promote energy efficiency and conservation.
VizCo has a 1.004 MW solar photovoltaic ground-mounted system at its 40,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Monticello, Florida. Comprised of 3,280 solar panels, this solar system produces 1,450,000 kWh of electricity annually, and is net-metered by Duke Energy Florida, LLC. This solar array saves 536 tons of CO2 from being emitted and is equal to powering 138 households per year. VizCo is the only manufacturing facility in the state fully powered through net metering, according to DEF.
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