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Oct 07, 2015


Times illustration A map charts solar radiation intensity across the United States. Solar arrays in Florida could collect as much as 33 percent more energy than in New Jersey. But New Jersey’s solar energy capacity is six times greater than that of the Sunshine State. While some say clouds in Florida hamper solar energy collection, the state receives one of the highest levels of solar radiation for energy production among the 50 states. Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

By Ivan Penn, Times Staff Writer  Friday, August 16, 2013 4:01pm

The Sunshine State has long been a solar energy laggard, trailing such gray-sky locales as Massachusetts and New Jersey. That might be about to change.

Changes in solar business models, federal tax credits and plummeting equipment prices are opening a new market that some believe will bring a sea of sun-absorbing solar panels to Florida.

“It’s the solar tsunami,” said Jim Fenton, director of the University of Central Florida Solar Energy Center. “The waves are on their way.”

• • •

Solar has failed to blossom in Florida because it has made little financial sense, thanks to electric rates that are much lower here than up North.

In addition, Tallahassee gives little support to solar, unlike other states that set goals or mandates for renewable energy.

Instead, Florida law hinders development of solar.

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