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Broward County Signs Agreement for First FPL Community-based Solar Installation

DATE: February 13, 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Jurado
Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division
PHONE: 954-519-1464

BROWARD COUNTY, FL - Broward is the first location in Florida to sign an agreement with Florida Power & Light (FPL) for installation of a solar photovoltaic system funded by FPL's new Voluntary Community-based Solar Pilot Partnership Program.

The agreement provides for collaboration between the County and FPL in the installation of a commercial-scale solar array project and companion educational display at the Young At Art Museum and Broward County Library in Davie, Florida. 

"The project is an example of a public-private partnership that will have real impact here in Broward," states Dr. Jennifer Jurado, Director, Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division. "It will further the County's efforts to advance solar energy as a prominent renewable energy strategy and increase awareness and engagement of renewable energy technologies to advance acceptance and adoption locally."

The Young at Art installation will consist of two 50-kW solar parking canopies, and the installation of a companion interactive educational display for integration into museum programming with real-time energy monitoring and other conservation messaging.

Through FPL's Voluntary Community-based Solar Pilot Program, FPL customers can elect to contribute $9 a month to advance solar power in Florida beginning this spring. FPL plans to provide the initial necessary funding so that the installation of at least the first two solar arrays it plans to build can be built in 2015, in anticipation of receiving sufficient funding from customers. The arrays will be constructed by local Florida-based solar installers selected through a competitive bid process.

"Broward County, a recognized leader in sustainability, and Young At Art are the perfect partners for this innovative pilot program, which is designed to bring more solar power into local communities," said Buck Martinez, Senior Director of FPL's Office of Clean Energy.  

County staff and FPL representatives considered various county facilities for the program. But with 20 percent of gallery exhibits dedicated to the environment, and housed in a LEED Gold certified building, Young At Art seemed the natural fit.

The installation has the potential to generate over 140,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. In so doing, it will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by over 100 metric tons of carbon dioxide supporting the County's commitment to a 20 percent renewable energy usage goal and supporting the regional goal to achieve, by 2050, an 82 percent reduction in regional greenhouse gas emissions.

FPL is the leading provider of solar energy in the Sunshine State.  The company recently announced plans to build substantially more solar energy capacity as part of its ongoing strategy of advancing clean energy while keeping electricity affordable for customers.  By the end of 2016, FPL plans to triple its current solar capacity adding nearly 225 megawatts of new solar power to the 110 megawatts it operates today.

About Environmental Planning and Community Resilience
Broward County's Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division protects, restores and enhances the quality, abundance and diversity of the County's natural resources through coordinated management efforts in five areas: water resource policy and planning, urban and natural lands management, beach and marine resources, energy and sustainability, and environmental monitoring. For more information call 954-519-1270, visit our website or follow us on Twitter.