Florida Solar Power Facts in 2023
The Sunshine State got its nickname for a reason. With ~250 sunny days and over 2,900 sunny hours every year, Florida has the most solar resources is one of the sunniest states in the USA. Any investment in solar panels in FL is sure to pay off in a record-breaking time, as your utility bills go down and your savings skyrocket. Florida solar power is on the rise – and so is the interest in installing even more solar panel installations.
Florida Solar Energy Data
Florida Solar Power is a big deal and a large-scale employer. With over $9.6 Billion invested in the solar industry, FL has managed to create over 12,200 solar jobs by 2019. There are currently 411 solar companies working in Florida. 62 are solar manufacturers, 211 are Installers and Solar Project Developers and 138 do work related to the solar field.
The state currently ranks 4th in the USA by total installed solar capacity. The Florida solar is 7,074 MW strong and likely to get even stronger with new investments into the sector. Solar Energy system network grows partially to Federal Tax Credit and State Tax Incentives. Additionally, FL homeowners decide to go residential solar because of significant electric bill savings, as even a 5kW system can offset at least 80% of the average Florida electricity bill.
The out-of-pocket 5kWh rooftop solar system cost ranges between $11,100 and $15,100. With significant savings on the $104.00 average electricity bill, the system can pay itself off within 7-10 years and keep generating enough power to result in $30,600-$41,500 over a 20 year period. Considering that most solar systems are rated to last at least 25 years and keep around 80% of their efficiency, solar panels are an investment. Net metering, tax credit, and the ability to have backup power bring down the solar costs in Florida.
Florida Solar Statistics
|Florida National Ranking||4th|
|Solar Installed(MW)||7074 MW|
|Can Supply Power to: (No. of Homes)||+842,000|
|% of State's Electricity from Solar||3.36%|
|Solar Companies in the State||411 Solar Companies (62 Solar Manufacturers, 211 Installers and Developers, and 138 Others)|
|Solar Jobs Created||11,219|
|Total Solar Investment in the State||$9.6 Billion|
|Out of Pocket Cost for a 5kWh system||$11,100-$15,100|
|Net 20-year savings||$30,600-$41,500|
|Average Payback Period||7-10 years|
|Electricity Bill Offset for a 5kWh system||+80%|
|Number of Solar Installations||+90,000|
Notable Solar Installations in Florida
There are over 90,000 solar installations in FL. Most of these are residential solar systems. However, Florida also has large-scale solar farms to be proud of:
- Martin Next Generation – this hybrid solar and natural gas plant can produce around 75MW of power. This much renewable energy can power around 13,125 homes with renewable energy.
- DeSoto Next Generation – This solar farm – the largest solar PV farm in Florida has a system size of 25MW solar capacity. This solar production can satisfy the electricity needs of around 4375 FL homes.
- The 6th Street, Ace Hardware Bronson, and AMF, Inc. General Growth Properties have installed a total of 1MW, whereas they can power 175 FL households.
- TIA Solar – this solar farm can produce 1MW of clean electricity, enough to power 175 homes.
What is Solar PACE Financing?
Solar PACE financing is a special type of financing available only in some areas of Florida. This type of financing makes it much easier for Florida residents to fund any home improvement projects that rely on optimizing energy consumption. The best thing about the Solar PACE funding is that obligations can be transferred: if you decide to sell your home, the new homeowner can take over the solar PACE funding payments.
PACE or Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs are easy to sign up for. Financing your energy efficiency projects makes it easy to pay off your projects since the payments are broken down into several monthly payments which you can pay off over the course of several years.
There are three steps in applying for solar PACE Financing:
- Decide what qualifying energy efficiency projects you want to fund,
- Get pre-approved in minutes for Florida PACE funding. You can apply on floridapace.gov,
- Choose your desired contractor from the Florida PACE contractors list.
After this, you can install your solar panels and see your energy bill go down by at least 80%.
Average Cost of Solar Energy Systems
Solar panels cost $2.62 per Watt, Florida Solar Power is very competitive in the solar market. An average system of 5kWh is enough to offset around 80% of an average household electricity consumption. Counterintuitively, FL households actually use less energy than an average US household, since, during the wintertime, less energy is spent on home heating.
For those who have a larger home or more energy needs, a more appropriate solution may be a 10kWh solar system. To be sure what size of the home solar system you may need, as the prices and individual needs vary, take into account the orientation of your house, the slope of the roof, any shading that is present on your property, as well as your electricity needs.
Although there are many factors that influence solar cost in Florida, in general, the cost of solar panels for a 5 kWh home solar is anywhere between $11,100 to $15,100, and a 10kWh rooftop solar system is twice as much. The prices outlined here are before Federal Tax Credit and Florida solar incentives. Solar incentives in Florida are a great way to decrease the total solar cost and start producing solar electricity on your home solar panels.
Solar Panel Energy Production in Florida
Solar renewable Energy Production in Florida is seeing a growth curve, as is the rest of the USA. Home Developers in Florida announced that they would start adding solar panels on every new home they make and the Federal Tax Incentive still offers great tax credits for going solar.
Home Solar PV has seen a significant increase in Florida. From a mere 3.3 MW of solar power back in 2008, the state installed an additional 2,285.7 MW of renewable Florida power by 2018. Then, by 2021 Q1, an additional 4,785 MW of solar were installed. Similar trends can be seen in other USA states. Solar Panels in New Jersey and Solar Panels in South Carolina have undergone similar growth trends. The trend is likely to continue as sales tax exemptions remain, electricity rates continue to rise and net metering lowers your utility bills.
Florida Solar Incentives, Rebates, and Tax Credits
At $2.62 per Watt, solar panels in Florida are not expensive. However, there are ways to decrease these costs even further, as both Federal Incentives and State Incentives drive down the upfront cost of going solar in Florida.
The Federal Solar Tax Credit lets you deduct up to 26% of your home solar installation cost from the Federal Taxes you owe. If you owe less in taxes than 26% of your home solar system cost, then you can roll over the remaining Federal Tax Credit for up to 10 years. In a $13,100 system, this means $3,406 in savings.
Additionally, the Sunshine state introduced its Solar System Property Tax Exemption. Under this home solar incentive, any value added to your property value by the solar panels is not taken into consideration for property tax evaluation. Although it may not seem like much, beware that every kW of rooftop solar panels add around $6,000 to your property’s value.
The state of FL also introduced the Home Solar System Sales Tax Exempt, whereby you do not pay the 6% sales tax on your home solar. In an average of 5 kWh, $13,100, the tax benefits would add up to $786. This sales tax exemption pushes solar in Florida and home solar to new heights and enables you to save money while reducing the cost of solar panels.
Yet another incentive to go solar is the net metering in place in Florida. Under this system, all excess electricity you do not spend during the production times goes straight to the electric grid. During the night, when there is no energy production, you take the electricity back from the grid. Effectively, you could offset up to 100% of your home electricity spent.
|The Cost of a 10kWh solar PV system in Florida||$26,200|
|The Federal Solar Tax Credit @26%||$6,812|
|Solar Panel System Sales Tax Exemption @6%||$1,572|
|Total Energy Bill Savings @80%||$998|
|Total cost for a 10kWh solar system at the end of year 1||$16,818|
|Years before a 10kWh system pays off if all of Florida solar incentives are taken||7-10 years|
Top Solar Companies in Florida
There are many Solar Companies operating in Florida. Around 211 of those are Solar Installers and Solar Developers. Choosing the best solar company in Florida can be a bothersome task, so we did a part of the work for you. Here is a list of the top 10 solar companies in Florida:
- E2SOL LLC operates in Boca Raton,
- Gulf Electrical Solar, in Davenport,
- PayOli Solar, in Miami,
- Goldin Solar, in Orlando,
- Sun Commercial Solar division of Michael Fink Electrical Inc, in Cape Coral,
- Homes.Solar, in Valrico,
- Revolution Contractors Roofing and Solar, LLC, operates in Orlando,
- May Electric Solar operates in Clermont,
- Sky Solar Energy, Inc, in Zephyrhills, and
- SunCool Energy Company, in Boca Raton.
What happens to solar panels when they die?
Solar Panels can get recycled. The majority of the solar panel is metal and glass both of which can easily be recycled. However, currently, in the USA, there are no plans to recycle solar panels, as recycling itself can cost up to $25, but the cost of all the materials that can be recovered is valued at only around $3.00.
Is community solar a good deal?
Community solar is a good idea since it is a cheap and affordable way to access clean energy while avoiding additional costs of solar panel installation and what some people consider an eyesore issue. Speak with your utility company to find out more about these programs.
How much is labor for installing solar?
You can expect to pay around 10% of the home solar system value for solar installation on your rooftop. In a 5 kWh system, this should translate to some $1,300. In a 10 kWh system, you can expect to spend around twice that much, so $2,600 for installing solar.
Can you walk on solar shingles?
You should never walk on your roof. However, solar shingles can support your weight easily. Solar shingles have been designed in such a way that they can withhold the impact of hale as well as hurricane winds. They do not crumble and break as easily as regular shingles.
The sunshine in the sunshine state has a lot to offer. 249 sunny days a year is more than enough to ensure you get enough electricity in your solar system array to power your house year-round and the southern position of the state ensures that your arrays can squeeze out every last bit of energy that hits their surface. With up to 32% Federal and state incentives to help you put solar on your roof and at least an 80% reduction in your electric bills, Florida is the perfect place for home solar.