Good news from Florida. Earlier this month, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) unanimously voted to make $24.5 million per year available as direct rebates for solar PV and solar hot water systems.
The rebate monies were approved as part of the PSC docket to update energy efficiency and demand-side management program goals, a process that happens every 5 years for the state’s investor-owned utilities. Utilities now have 90 days to develop programs to submit to the PSC for approval.
The Florida Solar Coalition — comprised of Solar Alliance, Florida SEIA, and Vote Solar — intervened in the docket and is pleased with the progress. While the rebate funds are still small compared to the state’s enormous market potential, it is very welcome news after a year where renewable energy policy seemed to be stalled in the state.
In particular, this should help alleviate pressure on the current solar rebate program administered by the state’s Energy Office. This program has been constantly oversubscribed, underfunded at $5 million/year (although federal stimulus funds did help boost this program this year), and the required annual appropriation of funds through the legislature means program uncertainty each year. We’re happy to see some creative use of DSM funds to support solar until we can put a more stable long-term market in place with an RPS.
Hopefully this vote for solar signals good things to come in the Sunshine State in 2010!