More Floridians are using renewables to generate electricity. According to electric utility reports filed with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), 1,590 customers owned renewable energy systems in 2009, up from 537 in 2008. Statewide, electric generation capacity from customer-owned systems has reached approximately 13,236 kilowatts.
Florida’s PSC has assisted in this growth by establishing rules that promote development of customer-owned renewable generation by making it easier for customers to interconnect their system with the utility’s grid.
Since customers with a renewable system sometimes generate more energy than they use in a billing cycle, the PSC’s net metering rules require that any excess energy that’s delivered to the utility be credited on the customers’ next utility bill. The PSC rules also require that Florida Power & Light Company, Progress Energy Florida, Inc., Tampa Electric Company, and Gulf Power Company (investor-owned utilities or IOUs) offer an expedited interconnection agreement process, which allows homeowners and businesses interested in generating their own energy to do so quickly.
Customers who receive their electricity from a municipal electric utility or a rural electric cooperative also have an incentive to generate their own renewable electricity. Every Florida municipal and cooperative that sells electricity at retail is required, by statute, to provide a standardized interconnection agreement and net metering program for customer-owned renewable generation systems.
Most customer-owned renewable generation in Florida is from solar photovoltaic panels; however, eight customers have wind turbines and one has an anaerobic digester. Anaerobic digestion is a multi-step process that uses microorganisms to breakdown organic material to form methane and carbon dioxide gases, which are used to generate electricity.
Florida’s utilities reported the following information on customer-owned renewable generation for 2008 and 2009.
# of customer-owned renewable systems
Rural Electric Cooperative
Residents interested in learning more about interconnecting renewable generation systems or net metering should contact their local utility for procedures and eligibility requirements for potential incentives and rebates.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida’s consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water and wastewater services in a safe, affordable and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For more information, visit www.floridapsc.com.