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Go SOLAR History

Go SOLAR Broward

In 2012, the Department of Energy (DOE) awarded Broward County the Rooftop Solar Challenge to accelerate significant improvements in market conditions for solar photovoltaic projects. BC was one of the 22 awardees nationwide and the only one in the Southeastern United States The goal of his grant-funded program  was to make it easier for Broward County residents and businesses to convert to solar energy. The Challenge allowed us to:

  • Engage local and state governments
  • Work with solar installers and contractors
  • Work with non-governmental organizations
  • Make solar energy simpler, faster, and more affordable.

The County worked collaboratively with 14 partner cities to Streamline Rooftop Solar Permitting by issuing a permit electronically with preapproved plans

*Note that not all cities have signed the ILA.  In some cases we just ran out of time. We hope to get them completed soon and to bring on other cities in BC which have not joined us.

Accomplishments

  • Partners signed ILA
  • Removed verbiage from zoning/planning that restricted solar
  • Created electronic permit process (gosolar.broward.org)
  • Agreed to one fee ($500 + surcharges)
  • Preapproved plans
  • Created Financing Best Practices
  • Trained participants in use of electronic permit system
  • Held Go SOLAR Fest January 2013
  • Our first grant from DOE in 2012

Partners

  • Coconut Creek
  • Dania Beach
  • Town of Davie **
  • Deerfield Beach
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Hallandale Beach *
  • Hillsboro Beach
  • Lauderdale by the Sea*
  • Miramar
  • North Lauderdale
  • Oakland Park
  • Pompano Beach*
  • Sunrise
  • Tamarac
  • Unincorporated BC

* Did not sign ILA yet
*  Did not change zoning ordinances

Go SOLAR Florida

In September 2013, the US Department of Energy awarded Broward County a grant as a part of the Rooftop Solar Challenge II to find ways to make it easier, faster and cheaper to install rooftop solar systems, also referred to as Photovoltaic Rooftop Systems. Broward County is administering the grant in partnership with 5 Florida Counties (Alachua, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, St. Lucie) along with the City of Venice, the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), and Florida Atlantic University (FAU). It also includes eight additional Broward County cities. 

FSEC's mission is to research & develop energy technologies that enhance Florida's and the nation's economy and environment and to educate the public, students and practitioners on the results of the research. FSEC was created by the Florida Legislature in 1975 to serve as the state’s energy research institute. The main responsibilities of the center are to conduct research, test and certify solar systems and develop education programs.  They will establish standards for and act as the repository of structural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical solar design plans and schematics to be used by all Go SOLAR Florida partners; develop policies and procedures on how engineers can submit plan designs for review and approval; conduct trainings for engineers, field inspectors, and building officials; provide training support in the area of solar rights law enforcement; and support a regional solar fest as part of the education and outreach activities of Go SOLAR Florida.

FAU agrees to provide technical assistance to participating counties by the review and recommendation of amendment of local ordinances to ensure solar friendly planning and zoning regulations.

The goal of the grant is to increase grid-tied solar systems in Florida through improved awareness, electronic permitting processes, and financial options for installation. The Go SOLAR Florida team will collaborate to make solar rooftop systems easier, faster and cheaper for residents and businesses through streamline permitting, engineering and regulation.

Priorities

  • Standard, successful model for inexpensive and rapid solar permitting
  • Increase the Florida grid-tied solar market
  • State program for solar Financial Options