DATE: March 4, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Armando Linares, Deputy Director
Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department
The U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu recently hosted a live discussion on the SunShot Initiative and the role solar power is playing in our growing clean energy economy. Solar industry experts from across the country, including members of the Broward Go SOLAR Team, shared how the domestic renewable energy source is creating jobs, strengthening the nation’s manufacturing capabilities and providing affordable clean energy. To view the recorded online session, visit youtube.com.
Broward Go SOLAR Team members who participated in the discussion included Deputy Director of Broward County’s Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department Armando Linares, Broward County Pollution Prevention and Remediation Division Director Jeffery Halsey and Natural Resource Specialist Maribel Feliciano.
The team also shared how the County’s participation in the SunShot Initiative’s Rooftop Solar Challenge is helping homeowners save time and money on solar installations. Through the Challenge, towns, cities and counties, such as Broward, are addressing the costs of solar – including permitting, interconnection and inspection requirements that can account for as much as 40 percent of the total cost of a single solar installation. Through the Broward County Online Permitting System, Broward County residents are now able to get a solar energy system permit, with preapproved design plans, within minutes reducing costs to homeowners and saving time.
In December 2011, Broward County was awarded a $646,367 grant to help reduce the cost and wait time associated with the installation of photovoltaic (PV), or rooftop solar systems, by residents and businesses. The grant is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s initiative to jump-start the expansion of solar energy by streamlining the application, permitting and installation processes for PV systems. Broward County is one of only 22 governments in the nation to receive funding from the Department of Energy for this initiative.
Broward County partnered with 14 municipalities (Coconut Creek, Dania Beach, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hillsboro Beach, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Miramar, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Pompano Beach, Sunrise and Tamarac), the School Board of Broward County, Florida Solar Energy Center, Florida Power & Light, Broward County Board of Rules and Appeals and the Building Officials Association of Florida and Broward League of Cities.
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.
Visit broward.org/gogreen for more information on the Go Solar Broward Rooftop Solar Challenge.