Help Florida schools save with solar
Solar United Neighbors is leading a campaign to help Florida schools, houses of worship and others go solar. There are ways to finance these projects that allow them to benefit from solar with low to no upfront costs. Schools can lower their electric bills from day one. Florida’s law does not allow schools to do this. We’re going to change that! Use the Take Action button below to sign our petition and raise your voice for solar access!
How we can increase access to solar
We can help more schools go solar by giving them more ways to finance going solar. One way would be to allow developers to install, own and operate the solar system. The school locks in their energy rates from the system through a contract. The developer is able to earn the federal solar tax credit.
Why this would benefit Florida
Schools, like all nonprofit organizations, do not pay income taxes. This means they are unable to benefit from the solar tax credit if they decide to purchase a solar system. Power Purchase Agreements allow a third party to own the system. This third party can take the tax credit and pass the savings along to the customer.
Going solar this way can provide immediate savings to schools. This is because the customer’s contract enables them to purchase electricity for less than what they are paying to their utility.
Increasing solar adoption will benefit all Floridians. Adding more distributed energy sources like solar makes our electric grid more resilient. This is a valuable defense against the damage caused by violent storms.
- Handouts & Short Resources
- Why Florida schools can save with solar (1 pg)— Learn how helping schools go solar will benefit Florida.
- Florida Solar Faith Fact Sheet (1 pg) — Learn about benefits for faith institutions going solar
- Florida Solar PPA Impact Report Summary (1 pg) — Summarizes this report with an overview of job creation, environmental, and economic impacts of expanding solar access with PPAs in Florida
- Video: Support Solar Schools in Florida (24 sec)— Learn how PPAs can help generate money to educate Florida students.
- Video: Solar Savings at Batesville School District in Arkansas (3 min)
- Reports & In-Depth Resources
- Impact Analysis of Power Purchase Agreements in Florida (21 pg)— This report looks at the benefits of legalizing Power Purchase Agreements by calculating job creation and economic benefits. It also includes case studies showing how PPAs can help municipalities, schools, and nonprofits.
- Webinar: How we can take Florida schools solar (56 min)
- Brighter Future: A study on solar in US Schools (48 pg) — A report by Generation 180 looking at solar schools across the US including national stats, case studies, reasons that schools go solar, and more. Report notes that 79% of solar at schools is financed through PPAs or similar instruments where a third-party funds and owns the solar system.
- Florida Solar Access Press Conference: this event included Rep. Hardy and Sen. Berman, Dr. Kelly Stevens of University of Central Florida, and Luisa Santos a member of the Miami-Dade County School Board along with Solar United Neighbors and Generation 180 staff.
- Florida PPA Impact Report Webinar: describes the simple financing method that can help Florida schools go solar.
- Power Florida Schools with Solar: Expanding Access to Savings, STEM Education, and Job Training including a Florida solar school along with school leaders from Virginia and Tucson School Unified School District in Arizona saving millions with solar schools!
- Powering Florida Cities & Counties with Solar: Expanding Savings, Jobs, and Economic Investment. Includes municipal leaders from Atlanta and Macon-Bibb County in Georgia with solar PPAs and Sustainability Director of Orlando, FL.
- 4/26/21: What is the significance of Potential Solar PPA legislation in Florida? Article by Florida PPA Impact Report authors Kelly Stevens & Gilbert Michaud in Solar Today.
- 4/21/21: ‘For our children’s sake’: Miami Dade schools commit to 100% clean energy by 2030. Miami Herald coverage of school board commitment to 100% clean energy, includes importance of PPAs.
- 4/15/21: Guest column: Florida lawmakers should unlock solar savings for Florida. Great op-ed in The Ledger on the potential of PPAs.
- 4/3/21: Letter: Schools should get access to solar power Letter from a St. Augustine resident
- 3/17/21: Osceola Schools Joins 60 Groups Statewide in Calling for More Solar Power coverage of 3/10 press conference event.
- 3/12/21: Two bills in Florida would legalize power purchase agreements for schools (finally)
- 3/11/21: 64 Schools, Universities, And Nonprofits Join In Support Of Legislation To Expand Solar Opportunities In Florida coverage of 3/10 press conference event.
- 3/11/21: 64 Schools, Universities, and Nonprofits Join in Support of Legislation to Expand Solar Opportunities coverage of 3/10 press conference event.
- 3/11/21: 64 Florida organizations back legislation to expand PPAs for universities, municipalities, and nonprofits additional coverage of 3/10 press conference event.
- 3/11/21: Berman and Hardy Advocate for Solar Bill HB 551 coverage of the 3/10 press conference event.
- 3/5/21: Lawmakers should allow Florida’s schools to install solar panels op-ed by Michele Ducker, picked up by the Sun Sentinel
- 2/18/21: Installing solar panels at schools would make dollars, sense an op-ed by Michele Drucker, a member of the Miami-Dade County Council PTA/PTSA and chair of the organization’s Environmental Committee.
- 2/13/21: Lawmakers should allow Florida’s schools to install solar panels that will save them money and educate students
- 2/2/21: Coalition touts FL clean-energy plan to protect climate and create jobs (on renewable energy and jobs, not specifically on PPA legalization bill)
- 12/16/20: Bill would allow Florida schools to net meter solar
- 12/1/20: Letter to editor by Andy Tugendhat mentioning need to legalize PPAs in Florida in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune
- 11/5/20: New Study: No-cost policy could support 25,000+ Florida jobs; $4 billion in investment