Congress brings solar community to South Florida

By Ben Delman on December 7, 2018

More than 160 solar energy supporters from around the state joined together this past Saturday at the 2nd Annual Florida Solar Congress. Held at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex in Miami, the Congress was an opportunity for grassroots solar supporters to meet, share stories, and celebrate solar energy.

Congress attendees had the opportunity to tour a solar-powered tiny house.

The day kicked off with opening remarks from Angela DeMonbreun, Solar United Neighbors of Florida Program Director. DeMonbreun discussed solar’s rapid growth in the state, Solar United Neighbors role in that growth, and how solar supporters can ensure this growth continues.

The Congress then broke into separate sessions. In the first early morning session, Julia Herbst of Solar United Neighbors led participants through a basic presentation of how solar energy works and the process for homeowners to go solar. In the other session, sustainability officials from across the state discussed the benefits that solar is providing their communities and what they are doing to expand access to solar. In the later morning session, Jody Finver of Solar United Neighbors led a presentation that explored battery storage. In the other session, attendees learned how to advocate for their right to go solar and ensure all Floridians can benefit from solar energy.

After a networking lunch the Congress again broke into group discussions. In one session, a panel of solar co-op participants, including NBC6 Chief Meterologist John Morales, discussed their experience of going solar with the help of a solar co-op. In the other session, the Caroline Lewis from the CLEO Institute discuss how we think, discuss, and act to stop climate change.

The day ended with an open forum discussion. Participants discussed how to develop rules for the electric grid that enable more people to go solar, ways to encourage cities and counties to enact pro-solar policies, and how to join the solar movement in more meaningful ways. Click here to view presentations, photos, and more from the day’s event.