GRU Plans to Expand Solar FIT

Gainesville Regional Utilities has a plan to make their solar feed-in tariff more available, especially to residential customers.  When it started in early 2009, space in the queue for projects was filled up quickly, mostly by businesses that wanted to install relatively large arrays. Now, GRU plans to slow down the process and will set aside a chunk of space every year strictly for residential use. Currently, nine of the roughly 45 projects under the program are residences which produce only a fraction of the power the commercial projects do, according to GRU data.

Rachel Meek, the utility’s solar program coordinator, said a number of the initial applicants jumped the gun and were taking up space that could have gone to prospective customers with legitimate plans.

Another change— which still needs City Commission approval —would entail lower rates paid to new-comers.  The new rates for larger projects would pay $0.24 per kilowatt hour compared with the current $0.26/kWh.  Meek said that reduction was part of the utility’s plan all along as the price of producing solar energy dipped, as it has “dramatically” in the last two years.

Source: Gainesville Regional Sun Online


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