Broward County Facilities Go Solar!
Broward County has made great strides towards leading a clean energy future with more than 6 megawatts in solar energy project commitments across 15 sites, including 3 sites either under construction or already completed this year. Projects will include 9 rooftop installations and 6 solar parking canopies. Most recently, the County initiated construction of a solar parking canopy at Broward's Central Regional Park in Lauderhill, and this year already completed construction of a parking canopy at the Broward Government Center West in Plantation and a rooftop installation at the Broward Transit Facility in Pompano for nearly 1 MW of installed capacity thus far. Additionally, as of April 2020, Broward County is formally receiving 84.72 MW solar offset for county energy consumption as a partner in FPLs solar Together Program, 64% of the County's total approved participation at 132 MW. These projects provide strong demonstration of Broward County's commitment to leading in the energy transformation needed locally, nationally, and globally to stabilize our warming planet.
Broward Solar Co-Op 2020
Broward County supports the Solar Co-op as one of its strategies for reaching its goal of sourcing 20% of its energy from renewables and reducing emissions to mitigate climate change impacts. The fourth annual Solar Co-op was open from August 4 to October 30, 2020. With the help of the non-profit Solar United Neighbors, the co-op supports residents and small businesses going solar with customer assistance and group savings. As of December 2020, 130 property owners had signed up for the co-op and 244 kilowatts of solar was contracted for installation.
The 2019 Solar Co-op resulted in 55 completed projects, totaling 536.6 kW. These projects result in lifetime carbon reductions of 20,452,509 million lbs. Co-op participants saved a total of $268,300 dollars on their systems, all while stimulating $1,073,200 in local investment.
Learn more, register for a webinar, and sign up for information about joining the 2021 solar co-op for free at SolarUnitedNeighbors.org/Broward. After a competitive bidding process facilitated by SUN, co-op members will select a single solar company to complete the installations. Joining the co-op does not obligate members to purchase solar. Instead, members will have the option to individually purchase panels and electric vehicle chargers based on the installer's group rate. SUN will host several free information sessions to educate community members about solar energy and the co-op.
Tips for Going Solar in Broward
Broward County has set an initial goal to acquire 20% of its electricity from renewable sources. Here in South Florida, renewable energy from the sun is one of our best options. We have compiled a brief list of things to consider as you pursue your solar options:
1. Examine your electricity bill.
Determine how much energy you use annually. You should know the annual cost of your electric bills, and the cost per kilowatt hour. If you need help, you can reach out to your electricity provider. FPL Understand My Bill
3. Understand your site.
Know the orientation, age and condition of your roof, and the nearby landscape. Is your roof shaded by buildings or trees? Does your roof need replacement in the near future? Search for your home on Project Sunroof
4. Contact a contractor.
Speak to solar contractors so they can help you navigate the feasibility of solar on your site and assess whether, and how quickly, the energy savings from solar panels will “repay” the initial cost of the panels. Compare several solar contractor
offers and reviews
5. Start small.
Don’t forget to consider solar thermal water heating systems. Dollar for dollar, these are often the most cost-effective solar energy projects. Solar hot water systems come in all shapes, sizes and configurations. System Types
and System Calculator
6. Shop around.
Check with your financial institution, the solar contractor, and for other traditional financing choices. The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program
is an innovative financing option now available for property owners in participating cities. The non-profit Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF)
is an independent, non-profit, community-based lending organization focused on financing home renovations that promote energy efficiency, clean energy alternatives, storm protection, water conservation, and disability products. SELF provides homeowners with building science expertise, project management, and access to low cost capital to help identify and finance sustainable home improvement projects. SELF Loan Application for Homeowners
7. Check for incentives.
State and federal rebates, incentives, or tax credits for solar equipment or energy efficiency improvements may also be available. (The federal renewable energy tax credits for businesses and residences are among the most significant incentives at present.) Search the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
(Florida and national programs are pre-selected).