Solar energy industry is booming in FLorida

Florida is leading the US in creating new jobs in solar energy. There is both hope, and some hurdles, facing the industry moving forward.


According to recent data from the United States Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), Florida, also known as the “Sunshine State” is ranked 3rd for solar rooftop potential.

The state currently has about 686.0-megawatt solar energy capacity currently installed; of which 404.3 megawatts came online in 2016.

Local businesses are cashing in on huge savings by installing solar in the state.

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First Housing for example cut utility bills from $65,000 a year down to less than $3,000 since going solar.

“I tell people it’s a little unfortunate that my office building has an energy bill that’s about the same as my house,” said Doug McCree, First Housing president, and CEO.

“We’ve seen a quadrupling of our revenues and a quadrupling of our hiring of people. In the state, employment’s up 26 percent for the solar power industry,” said McIntyre, CEO of Solar Energy Management.

There’s been some fear, the Trump administration might do away with big tax credits for people who install solar panels. But McIntyre thinks they’re starting to see the light on solar’s big benefits. Now, he’s hoping the state of Florida will come on board to help the industry grow even more.

“We have our oil fields in the sky. It’s the sun! hat’s why they call us the sunshine state. We need to come out of the solar dark ages and starting using more solar power,” McIntyre said.

There are approximately 75,000 with solar installed on rooftops.

The state has one of the highest solar employment rates with over 451 companies employing 8,260 people.

Even investors see something great in this state as over $1,872.48 million invested in the solar industry to date. Keep in mind that $509.90 million of this amount was invested in 2016.

Although the projections indicate that solar growth in Florida is on the rise, solar policies haven’t had much support in recent years.

Programs such as the renewable portfolio standard which many states in the US offer is lacking and the state doesn’t allow companies to enter into power purchase agreements.

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