Florida has made progress in both utility-scale and rooftop solar energy installation, but on “watts-per customer” basis, remains behind other states such as North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, a nonprofit energy group said Tuesday.
The Solar in the Southeast 2017 Annual Report from Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), released Tuesday, highlights solar data and trends throughout the region, including Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
In 2017 Florida had 83 watts of solar energy per utility customer compared to North Carolina’s 555, South Carolina’s 318, Georgia’s 255 and Mississippi’s 156, the report states. The numbers, based on information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the utilities, were calculated by taking the amount of installed solar and dividing it by the number of retail utility customers.
“Solar in the Southeast has been virtually doubling every year since 2012,” said Stephen Smith, SACE’s executive director.
In 2012 the region had 200 megawatts of solar, and now it is approaching 6,000 megawatts. Utility-scale solar represents 87 percent of the solar deployed, Smith said.
“I think that Florida is behind in that it doesn’t have as much leadership at the legislative level on these issues, although Amendment 4 was a step in the right direction. You are seeing Florida rapidly catching up,” Smith said. [read full article]