Program includes carve-out to serve thousands of low-income families, also largest in U.S.
The Florida Public Service Commission unanimously approved Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) SolarTogether program today, creating the country’s largest, voluntary utility-led shared solar program. As the result of a settlement with Vote Solar and other climate and community advocates and businesses, SolarTogether will also create the country’s largest low-income shared solar offering, helping as many as 10,000 low-income Florida families benefit from solar.
“Every Floridian should be able to participate and benefit from affordable, clean, local solar power,” said Katie Chiles Ottenweller, Southeast Director for Vote Solar. “Solar is now the most affordable electricity resource in Florida, making it even more important that low-income families have access to solar savings.”
The program, originally announced in March 2019, will deploy nearly 1,500 megawatts of shared solar in FPL territory. Vote Solar estimates that the 37.5 megawatts set aside to serve low-income families will help participants save $1,300 over the life of the program. FPL will also offer a free home energy audit to subscribers that will help low-income families tap into even more savings.
“Florida’s low-income families are already on the frontlines of the climate crisis, they have so much to gain from participating in shared solar projects like SolarTogether,” said Yoca Arditi-Rocha, Executive Director of the CLEO Institute. “We look forward to seeing similar offerings from the state’s other utilities.”
Like other shared solar programs, SolarTogether allows customers to subscribe to part of a local, offsite solar array and receive a credit on their electricity bill for the solar produced by their subscription. Importantly, shared solar allows renters, people with homes that are not suitable for solar panels and families who are unable to afford the upfront costs of owning their own solar panels to share in the financial benefits of solar. Currently, 19 states and Washington, D.C. have passed legislation to allow for shared solar programs. FPL’s program will double U.S. shared solar capacity.
SolarTogether is also expected to save millions of dollars for non-subscribing customers of FPL due to the fuel cost and avoided generation savings that come from investments in solar power. The program is set to launch later this year.