Florida’s distributed solar market doubled in 2017

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Which of these these doesn’t fit with the others:

Via a combination of cheap electricity, political jiu-jitsu by the monopoly powered electric utilities, and third party leasing being mostly limited historically, Florida has fallen behind the solar powered curve. However, things are starting to change.

First off, there is a herculean effort by NextEra to deploy many gigawatts of pollinator friendly solar power in the state. And recently the Public Service Commission approved a contract nuance that will allow the nation’s leading residential solar lease companies to plant a stake in the state.

And now we see even more evidence as the Florida Public Service Commission released its 2017 updated Interconnection and Net Metering of Customer-Owned Renewable Generation.

The report shows that 6,283 new customer-owned, distributed renewable energy systems were added to the grid in 2017. This is more than double the 2,982 systems that were connected in 2016. Total capacity deployed grew by 94%, from 33 MW to 64 MW.

That growth means this sector has almost doubled twice within a five year period.

Of the 24,157 total customer-owned, distributed generation systems connected to the power grid in Florida – 29 of them are wind, and eight of them ‘other’ – meaning this is effectively all rooftop and other behind-the-meter solar systems.

Utility level data for the more than 50 unique power companies in Florida can be found here.

Even with this heady news, SEIA’s State Scorecard on Florida paints a clear picture about who is in charge of solar power in the State of Florida:

It’s the utilities. One must give them a pat on the back, as that explosion in utility scale solar power means that in 2017 Florida took its rightful place at the table and installed the 3rd-most solar power of any state in the nation.