Florida’s residential and commercial rooftop solar market is open for business, thanks to Gov. Rick Scott (R) signing Senate Bill 90 (SB 90) into law. The bill implements Amendment 4, which exempts rooftop solar arrays on homes and businesses from personal property tax, making it easier to go solar. With the new legislation guiding the way, more solar companies starting to open shop throughout the state.
“We are particularly enthusiastic about the strong consumer protections in the legislation that provide transparency to customers and clear rules of the road for solar installers. We thank Governor Scott, Senator Brandes and Majority Leader Rodrigues for their leadership on solar and support for our industry’s growth,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) president and CEO.
Floridians overwhelmingly supported Amendment 4 with 73 percent of the voters voting in favor of the amendment during August 2016’s primary election ballot. This proved to lawmakers, utilities and regulators, that Floridians want to eliminate barriers to installing solar and want to increase their renewable energy choices. With advocacy from solar and environmental groups like SEIA and Vote Solar, SB 90 was approved by the Senate 33 to 0 in May 2017.
Thanks to the enactment of the new law, Sunrun, one of the largest residential solar providers in the US, is entering Tampa and Orlando with its home solar and energy storage services. It’s offering financed systems and the ability to purchase systems outright. The company will also sell systems at Costco outlets.
"There is strong demand for rooftop solar in Florida, so we are thrilled to bring this affordable clean energy solution to homeowners," said Lynn Jurich, Chief Executive Officer of Sunrun. "Rooftop solar benefits both homeowners choosing to take control of their energy needs, and communities by creating new jobs and a cleaner, more robust energy grid.”
Growth in Florida’s solar industry created 25 percent job growth, ranking it 5th in the US during 2016, according to GTM Research and SEIA’s annual US Solar Market Insight Report. "The decision to create new jobs in the renewable energy market in Florida continues to move our economy forward with tax cuts like those in SB 90. We have a bold job growth agenda that prioritizes a diversified energy portfolio, and I look forward to further efforts in the legislature to continue this positive momentum,” said Florida Senator Jeff Brandes.
Most of the solar currently installed throughout Florida is utility-scale, however the new law will help the state’s residential solar sector take off. Solar more than doubled in 2016 as 405 megawatts of capacity came online in the state, according to SEIA.Tweet