Florida, “the sunshine state,” ranks third in the nation for rooftop solar potential, but all the way down at 14th for cumulative solar capacity installed. Florida’s solar policies lag behind many other states in the nation: it has no renewable portfolio standard and does not allow power purchase agreements, two policies that have driven investments in solar in other states.
Facts on the Florida Solar Industry
- There are currently more than 409 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Florida, employing 4,800 people.
- In 2014, Florida installed 22 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it 20th nationally.
- The 251 MW of solar energy currently installed in Florida ranks the state 14th in the country in installed solar capacity. There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 29,000 homes.
- In 2014, $63 million was invested on solar installations in Florida.
- Average installed residential and commercial photovoltaic system system prices in Florida have fallen by 32% in the last year. National Prices have also dropped steadily- by 6% from last year and 53% from 2010.
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Notable Solar Installations in Florida
- The US Air Force and US Navy are developing solar facilities at three facilities in Florida with a combined capacity of 120 MW. In partnership with Heliosage Energy and Gulf Power Company, the projects will be located at Eglin Air Force Base (30 MW), Holley Naval Outlying Landing Field (40 MW) and Saufley Naval Outlying Landing Field (50 MW). These solar facilities will provide enough energy to power more than 13,800 homes.
- Several large retailers in Florida have gone solar, including Florida Museum of Natural History, Ace Hardware, and Whole Foods. IKEA has installed one of the largest corporate photovoltaic systems in the state with 1,189 kW of solar capacity at their location in Tampa
- At 25 MW, DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia is among the largest solar installations in Florida. Completed in 2009 by SunPower, this photovoltaic project has enough electric capacity to power more than 2,500 homes.
See our solar installations maps.
Solar Companies in Florida
There are currently more than 409 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Florida. These companies provide a wide variety of solar products and services ranging from solar system installations to the manufacturing of components used in photovoltaic panels. These companies can be broken down across the following categories: 68 manufacturers, 22 manufacturing facilities, 210 contractor/installers, 24 project developers, 33 distributors and 80 engaged in other solar activities including financing, engineering and legal support.
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Solar panel costs have fallen significantly in the last 5 years and now installing solar panels can be one of the best investments you can make for your home. There are also now a lot of products on the market utilizing sophisticated financing vehicles to make solar panels for your home affordable. This website will show you the average retail price of installing home solar panels in Florida.
Solar rebates and solar tax credits in Florida.
Solar incentives are offered at the utility, county, state and federal level. These solar incentives can take various forms including solar tax credits, up front solar rebates, premium feed in tariffs (known as net metering) or solar production incentives.The eligibility and rules for each incentive program can vary greatly. This solar panel calculator allows you to enter your address and it will tell you what solar incentives will apply at your house and the value of these if you go solar.
Finding the right solar company for you:
There are many solar companies in Florida offering a wide variety of brands and options. This consumer reviews website will show you the consumer ratings of each solar installer that services your area and will also show you what brands of solar panels.
Florida Public Service Commission - Learn about the governing body that regulates the electricity rates and services of Florida public utilities
Florida State Legislature - Track pending legislation affecting solar energy, locate and contact individual legislators, and stay up to date on current legislative issues in Florida
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - Find a wide variety of information on state government energy programs, policy, projects, energy-saving strategies and energy-related statistics
Florida Energy Consortium - Assists the state in the development and implementation of an environmentally compatible, sustainable, and efficient energy strategic plan
DSIRE Incentives Database Florida - Search a public clearinghouse for specific solar energy incentives in Florida and across the United States.
U.S. Energy Information Administration- Florida State Profile - Explore official energy statistics, including data on electricity supply and demand, from the U.S. government