Issues in Florida Utility-Scale Solar Construction

Rows of solar panels at a large solar farm. Showing the hardware that connects them and controls their movement following the sunlight.
Rows of solar panels at a utility-scale solar farm. Showing the tracking system that controls their movement following the sunlight.

Although the adoption of solar power has skyrocketed in other states, Florida electric customers are only now beginning to realize solar’s economic and environmental benefits. To be sure, natural gas prices are currently low by any measure, and that translates to low electricity prices for the time being because gas-fired electricity plants account for so much of the state’s power mix. Even so, whether one considers the cost of solar by the cost of the fuel (sunlight is free), the cost of a solar farm averaged out over its useful life, or the cost of one unit of electricity that a solar farm produces, the cost metrics are on target to fall below fossil fuels and win the price war.[1]

It is not surprising, therefore, to see Florida’s utilities beginning to take measured steps toward adopting solar power into their portfolios of electricity-generating assets. The most substantial investments have come from Florida Power & Light Company with three large solar farms that are currently under construction in southwest Florida. Even so, solar still accounts for less than one tenth of one percent of FPL’s generation portfolio, and this number is likely to increase with the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, coupled with global and federal pressures to reduce carbon emissions.[2]

Continue reading “Issues in Florida Utility-Scale Solar Construction”

Measures to Help Ensure a Positive Solar Experience

Solar panel on a red roof reflecting the sun and the cloudless blue sky
Being proactive and educating yourself help ensure a positive solar experience.

More and more, Florida homeowners and businesses are installing solar panels on their rooftops.[1] Not only does Florida’s recent uptick in solar construction mean more local jobs, lower energy bills, and reduced carbon emissions, it also means that at least some unscrupulous salespeople and contractors will attempt to exploit unwitting consumers. Some misbehavior is to be expected in any line of business, but the solar industry has a markedly low incidence of consumer complaints according to the Better Business Bureau.[2] If you’re thinking about going solar, you should be proactive and know what you’re signing up for. Continue reading “Measures to Help Ensure a Positive Solar Experience”