energy efficiency, sustainability, green buildings, solar, hybrid cars and alternate fuels.

"A society built on green design, sustainable energy and closed loop systems, a civilization afloat on a cloud of efficient, non-toxic, recyclable technology." ~~Alex Nikolai Steffan

10.29.2008

Gainesville Buys Solar

According to the Gainesville Sun, the Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) has agreed to buy the electricity generated by solar at above market value for the next 20 years. This program would be the first of its kind in North America. The incentive, called a "feed-in-tariff" comes from Germany and is different from how most private investment now comes into renewable energy. The Gainesville City Commission gave unofficial direction to draft an ordinance to be brought before the commission to implement this and may be in place by the first of January. .

The Gainesville Regional Utilities would buy all the energy produced by a solar photovoltaic system for a guaranteed rate per kilowatt hour. The GRU's current incentive system offers a cash rebate of $1.50 per watt of photovoltaic panel installed. For residential units, the limit on the rebate is $7,500 and for a business, the limit is $37,500. This means that buildings that generate the most solar energy receive the least incentive to install panels. Under this proposal, large solar installations would receive the most incentive. As in Tallahassee, the GRU uses net-metering to credit consumers for energy that is generated in excess of consumption. The "feed in tariff" would be funded through an increase in the fuel adjustment rate and would eliminate the cash rebate and net-metering. It is estimated that there is roof-top potential for the solar production of 80 megawatts of electricity in the Gainesville area. This program could be coupled with the federal tax incentives for renewable energy mentioned in this blog post below.

1 comments:

Feed in tarriffs are a great way to go. If America is going to be truly energy independent, we have to make the investments in our energy infrastructure (transfer the $700B we spend a year on oil to alternative energy).

How far along is this project. It could be used as a model for others.

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