From the Orange County Government Newsroom
Orange County is building on the momentum of the state’s largest and most successful solar co-op by again partnering with Solar United Neighbors of Florida to bring a new solar co-op to residents of West Orange County. The new co-op is now open and runs through mid-June 2018.
Solar co-ops provide bulk discounts of up to 20 percent for a group of homeowners interested in purchasing solar panels. As part of a solar co-op, each participant signs an individual contract with the group-chosen installer, and all participants benefit from the discount. All homeowners who reside in West Orange County, including in city jurisdictions, are eligible to participate in their respective co-op.
Earlier this year, more than 150 residents of East Orange County formed a co-op and selected Goldin Solar to serve the group. Members of that co-op are now in the process of signing contracts with the installer.
Orange County launched its first solar co-op in the summer of 2016 with 515 participants. Of those households, 79 installed solar through the co-op, accounting for 702.83 kW of new solar capacity in the County. In addition, $1.3 million was invested in solar with this co-op with total energy savings over a lifetime of the solar array of $3.5 million. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and her family were among the 79 households who joined this first solar co-op.
Solar power also supports Jacobs’ goals in her Sustainability Initiative, “Our Home for Life,” which seeks to reduce barriers to alternative energy and increase renewable energy production by 10 percent in 2020 and 25 percent by 2040.
Joining a co-op does not obligate members to purchase panels. The exact price of a Photovoltaic (PV) system is dependent on homeowners’ preference in system size and their home’s energy consumption. Homeowners have the option to install the size PV system that fits their budget.
As part of this initiative, Orange County streamlines the permitting process for solar installations. New solar permits can be processed in a single day.
To learn more and register for an information session, visit www.solarunitedneighbors.org
or email FLteam@solarunitedneighbors.org. Upcoming information sessions are as follows:
- Thursday, April 19, 2018, 6 p.m.
First Green Bank
862 S. Orlando Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789
- Thursday, May 3, 2018, 6 p.m.
Hiawassee Branch Library
7391 W. Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32818
- Monday, June 4, 2018, 6 p.m.
John Bridges Community Center
445 W. 13th Street
Apopka, FL 32703
Additional meetings will be announced on SolarUnitedNeighbors.org.
About Solar United Neighbors of Florida: Solar United Neighbors expands access to solar by educating Florida residents about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Florida’s solar policies and its community of solar supporters. Solar United Neighbors of Florida’s Program Director will actively work to establish co-ops, including issuing a Request for Proposal on behalf of the co-op’s and provide technical support.