Florida residents are going solar and using the sun to power the Sunshine State. The number of customers owning renewable generation systems in Florida is growing, according to electric utility reports filed with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). Investor-owned electric utilities (IOUs) report that 383 customers owned solar photovoltaic systems in 2008, up from 99 in 2007. About 2,800 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic capacity from 577 systems have been installed statewide, enough to power 700 households.
The PSC has established rules to promote the development of customer-owned renewable generation by making it easier to interconnect with the grid. The rules apply to customer-owned renewable generation up to 2,000 kilowatts in capacity. Governor Crist was recognized for the PSC net metering rule with the national “Golden Meter Award” by a group of national and local solar energy advocates; and Freeing the Grid magazine touted Florida as using the best practices in new net metering.
Residents who install a renewable generation system can reduce the amount of electricity they need to purchase from the utility. The PSC’s net metering rule requires that any energy generated in excess of the customer’s need and delivered to the utility be credited on the customer’s next utility bill. Additionally, the IOUs must offer standard interconnection agreements with an expedited interconnection process so that homeowners and businesses interested in generating their own energy can do so quickly.
Florida’s utilities reported the following information on customer-owned renewable generation for 2008:
# of customers with/ interconnections
Rural Electric Cooperative
Residents interested in finding out about interconnecting renewable generation systems or net metering should contact their local utility for interconnection procedures. They may also be eligible for state and local rebates for installing solar photovoltaic systems.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.