Everything is Brighter in Orange County … West Orange Solar Co-op Launches

Everything is Brighter in Orange County … West Orange Solar Co-op Launches

Orange County, Fla. — 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 a total energy savings over a lifetime of 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 http://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.

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