Help Florida Schools Access Solar Savings
Solar is a solution that can help Florida’s budget-strapped schools save on burdensome energy costs while providing STEM education and job training opportunities. However, Florida law restricts the ability of schools to access these benefits.
The “Sunshine State” Lags Behind on Solar
In our recent national report on solar schools, Florida only ranked 24th in the country for solar installed on schools. Most of the solar installed at statewide schools are small, grant-funded demonstration systems that do not make a dent in the schools’ electric bills.
The top states for solar on schools have a crucial state policy that allows schools to go solar using third-party power purchase agreements (PPAs), which generally remove upfront costs and provide immediate energy cost savings. Our research shows that 79% of the solar capacity installed on nationwide K-12 schools was funded and owned by a third-party. However, Florida law currently doesn’t allow this game-changing financing option.
Click below to watch a webinar about how Florida schools can access the opportunity that is already available in other states to go solar affordably, save taxpayer dollars, expand learning opportunities, and create resilient buildings.
Speak Up for A Brighter Future in Florida
The Florida legislature has considered bills in both the 2020 and 2021 legislative sessions that would authorize the use of power purchase agreements (PPAs) and unlock the potential of the “Sunshine State.” We need your help to build support for this policy that would enable our schools, localities, and nonprofits to access clean energy with little-to-no upfront costs. Please raise your voice and let your representatives know that they need to make PPA access a legislative priority.
If you represent a school, municipality, company, or organization, you can show your support by signing this letter of support on behalf of your organization.
If you are a Florida resident, use the form below to email your legislators and ask them to support solar for schools. Lawmakers want to hear your story, so personalizing your message before you send it goes a long way.
Be a Spark for Solar at Your School
Step up and be a champion for solar at your schools. We provide a wealth of resources to help you get started right in your own community in Florida.
We are proud to have supported the student and parent leaders from Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth-largest school district in the nation, who successfully convinced the school board to pass a resolution committing to 100% clean energy by 2030.
If you want to take action at your school or district, our resources can help. Use our Solar Schools Campaign Toolkit below as a step-by-step guide for advocating for solar at your school/district. Or, if you are already have buy-in for solar, you can use our How-to Guide to learn about the steps of the solar development process, including an introduction to solar financing for schools.
Learn More about Solar Schools In Florida
- Webinar: Powering Florida Schools with Solar: Expanding Access to Savings, Education, and Job Training, March 1, 2020 —Hear from the School District of Osceola County, which boasts the first net-zero energy school in the state, about how this policy would benefit the district. Learn how districts in other states are using PPAs to go 100% solar and realize $43 million in savings over 20 years.
- Webinar: Powering Florida Cities and Counties with Solar: Expanding Access to Savings, Local Jobs, and Economic Investment, March 4, 2021 —Hear from the City of Orlando about how this policy would create economic benefits and advance the city towards its goal of 100% clean energy. Learn how municipalities in Georgia used solar PPAs to capitalize on the cost savings and enhance resilience.
- Report: Impact Analysis of Power Purchase Agreements in Florida (21 pp.)— Analysis of the statewide economic and environmental benefits of legalizing Power Purchase Agreements with case studies showing how PPAs can help municipalities, schools, and nonprofits.
- Report Summary: Impact Analysis of Power Purchase Agreements in Florida (1 p.) — Overview of key findings of the report
- Resource: Why Florida Schools Need Solar Power Purchase Agreements (1 p.)
- Report: Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in US Schools (48 pp.) — A report by Generation 180 looking at solar schools across the US, including national stats, case studies, reasons that schools go solar, and more. Report notes that 79% of solar at schools is financed through PPAs or similar instruments where a third-party funds and owns the solar system.
- 4/26/21: American Solar Energy Society, What is the Significance of Potential Solar PPA Legislation in Florida?
- 4/21/21: Miami-Herald, ‘For our children’s sake’: Miami Dade schools commit to 100% clean energy by 2030
- 3/17/21: WMFE 90.7, Osceola Schools Joins 60 Groups Statewide in Calling for More Solar Power
- 3/12/21: Solar Builder Magazine, Two bills in Florida would legalize power purchase agreements for schools (finally)
- 3/11/21: Press Release, 64 Schools, Universities, and Nonprofits Join in Support of Legislation to Expand Solar Opportunities
- 3/11/21: Press Conference on Florida Solar Access with Senator Lori Berman, Representative Omari Hardy, Generation180, Solar United Neighbors, and University of Central Florida
- 2/18/21: Orlando Sentinel, Installing solar panels at schools would make dollars, sense an op-ed by Michele Drucker, Miami-Dade County Public Schools PTA
- 11/5/20: Capital Soup, New Study: No-cost policy could support 25,000+ Florida jobs; $4 billion in investment