Go SOLAR Fest is a Shining Success

Year of the Neighbor Logo

DATE: February 6, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Armando Linares, Deputy Director 
Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department 
EMAIL: alinares@broward.org

Broward County’s Go SOLAR Fest proved to be a success as more than 1,225 attendees, 54 exhibitors and 37 speakers showed up to the Broward County Convention Center on January 25-26, for the inaugural event. Broward County Mayor Kristin Jacobs kicked off the program along with U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz who spoke about the importance of expanding the use of renewable energies. Broward County Commissioners Martin David Kiar, Chip LaMarca and Dale V.C. Holness also spoke about the potential economic benefits of renewable energies for Broward County as well as the region.

The exciting event offered solar and electrical contractors, installers and residents interested in bringing more solar energy to South Florida a unique opportunity to hear from the experts about recent advances in permitting, financing, solar rights, zoning, net metering and interconnection. Fourteen partner cities and other stakeholders received an award recognizing their participation in the Go SOLAR online permitting system:

Coconut Creek
Dania Beach
Deerfield Beach
Fort Lauderdale
• Hallandale Beach
Hillsboro Beach
• Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
• Miramar
North Lauderdale
Oakland Park
Pompano Beach
• Unincorporated Broward County
• Florida Power & Light
• School Board of Broward County
• Broward League of Cities
• Broward County Board of Rules and Appeals
• State Office of Energy
• Florida Solar Energy Center 

SolarFest and the Go SOLAR Challenge exemplifies the spirit of Mayor Jacobs’ Year of the Neighbor initiative. “We have a number of cities who initially joined us as partners in this opportunity. Now several more cities are joining and additional counties want to benefit from Phase II of this grant funded program from the Department of Energy. Our success is promoting more success. Joining together as neighbors makes us better, more resilient, stronger,” said Mayor Jacobs.

Go SOLAR Broward Rooftop Solar Challenge is a U.S. Department of Energy grant-funded program, designed to make solar power more accessible to local residents and business owners and/or their contractors, by streamlining the online application system and offering standardized fees and uniform interconnection to utility systems. Broward County is one of only 22 governments in the nation to receive funding from the Department of Energy for this initiative. This spring, Broward County plans to apply for a Phase II, $2 million grant opportunity to assist in developing similar programs regionally and ultimately statewide.

Go SOLAR Fest served as a catalyst for other cities, counties and partners to join Broward County’s solar initiative. “We are excited to learn that during the event, eight additional cities, five counties in Florida and national partners are interested in joining Phase II of the Broward County Go SOLAR online permitting system,” said Armando Linares, Deputy Director of the Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department. Potential new partners and stakeholders include:

Cooper City
Coral Springs
Lauderdale Lakes
Lighthouse Point
Pembroke Pines
• Southwest Ranches
• Wilton Manors
• Miami-Dade County
Monroe County
Orange County
• Sarasota County
Alachua County

The Broward County Go SOLAR program invites all municipalities and interested stakeholders to join the Go SOLAR Broward Rooftop Solar Challenge Phase II. For more information email gosolar@broward.org or visit broward.org/GoGreen and click Go SOLAR.

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