Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Solar Power Forum
We just recently hosted a Solar Power Forum here at Daytona State (I worked on hosting). The question I get A LOT is why is Solar power not taking off as fast in Florida as it is in other states - well here is one answer as to why Florida is lagging behind "non-sunshine" states;
1. A Solar PPA (or Power Purchasing Agreement) is an agreement where a company places a solar system on your property and then you pay (at a reduced rate) for the power it produces. The company maintains, insures, and monitors the system - and pays for the installation up-front. This model has become very popular in many states.
Bottom line for consumer - pay nothing, enter long term lease for purchasing reduced rate power from PPA provider. This reduces your overall power bill - so you end up paying less for power (here is a good easy to read paper on it) http://www.solarpowerpartners.com/PDFs/Is%20a%20Solar%20PPA%20Right%20for%20you.pdf
2. Florida faces some challenges with PPA - Florida does not allow third party ownership PPA model and it is the only state where this is not even in debate. A court ruling from 1981 ruled that if a provider sold power to a single (defined as one) buyer - they would be considered a public utility (and all that this means). In 2007 the Florida Energy Commission recommended changing the statute to the governor, the recommendation was never taken up in the legislature. (http://dukespace.lib.duke.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/10161/843/MP_kwk5_a_.20090;jsessionid=32EDE11200E39248219052EC724AE9CA?sequence=1 )
3. The point that the group was making - was that until PPA becomes a viable option in Florida, we will not see widespread adoption of solar power within the state of Florida. They encouraged everyone to contact their elected officials to "move" on this issue.