The City of Tallahassee is highlighted as a leading “Solar Star” in a new report, landing it among the nation’s leading cities for installing clean energy from the sun.
“Cities like Tallahassee are leading the way to a future powered by clean, renewable energy,” said Jennifer Rubiello, director of Environment Florida Research & Policy Center. “By tapping into more of our vast solar energy potential, we can benefit from cleaner air and fight climate change.”
Tallahassee ranked ahead of the 4 other Florida cities in the report, including Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, and Miami, for megawatts of solar energy per capita as of year-end 2017. Tallahassee’s rank is due in large part to the 28 MW solar farm contracted by the city. Through the Tallahassee Solar program, residents and businesses were allowed to enroll to purchase their electricity from the solar farm at a fixed rate for the next 20 years. The 2,000 slots for this program filled up so quickly that the city is continuing it for another solar farm it plans to build.
“Tallahassee stands out as an example for other cities to follow in Florida and throughout the South. The city is listening to local customers like me who want solar energy in their homes and their communities, and it’s giving different types of solar room to grow,” said Scott Thomasson, southeast director with Vote Solar.
The report, Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America, shows that the top 20 solar cities, comprising just 0.1 percent of the country’s land mass, account for 4 percent of U.S. solar capacity.
“We are in a moment when progress on renewable energy will come from cities across the country,” said Rubiello. “More local leaders should step up and start plugging their communities into the clean and virtually limitless power of the sun.”
Last month, mayors from 18 cities in Florida from Tallahassee to Naples signed onto a bipartisan letter of 180 mayors across the U.S. resolving to make solar power a key element of their communities’ energy plans and calling on others to embrace clean energy from the sun.
Shining Cities is the fifth annual report from Environment Florida Research & Policy Center. Each year, the survey ranks nearly 70 of the nation’s major cities by megawatts of solar energy. This year, the report also ranks state capitols and smaller cities that are going big on solar energy.
Environment Florida Research & Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to protecting Florida’s air, water and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help people make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives.