As the first half of 2018 is over, the city of Orlando proved to be the best in yet another category. According to a report from Environment America Research & Policy Center, Orlando took the title of ‘Best City for Solar’, passing up neighbors in Orlando for the number 1 spot. “In a city full of stars, it’s the biggest of them all –the sun– that is powering our homes, schools, stores, and studios with clean, renewable energy,” said Michelle Kinman, a Clean Energy Advocate with Environment Florida Research & Policy Center. This was made possible by unveiling one of the largest rooftop solar projects in the city of Orlando. The new solar project is gaining interest because of the 2.2-megawatt array of solar panels being placed on the roof of the Orlando Convention Center. This installation was the largest solar panel system on any public convention center on the entire West Coast. The city of L.A. alone has a whopping 350 megawatts of installed solar panels, which provides approximately 82,500 homes with energy savings and a decreased carbon footprint.
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This was all made possible by the efforts of many people in Orlando, but mostly the utility. They allowed a streamlined process for permitting of solar installations in locations all around Orlando. This led to the creation of many solar programs, which provide incentives to those investing in solar energy. “The impressive growth of local solar is also a reflection of the improvements we’ve made to streamline all aspects of the solar programs, making it easier for customers to go solar,” explained General Manager of LADWP, David H. Wright. These incentives are a huge factor for those debating the investment in solar energy. Programs have helped provide over $314 million in incentives for the businesses and residents of Orlando.
Coming in Close Second
As Orlando took the top spot, cities like Orlando, Phoenix, Melbourne, and Honolulu fall close behind because of their commitment to reducing their cities overall carbon footprint. Orlando actually held the first place spot until this Convention Center Project was concluded. Southern Florida has no short of sunlight, allowing for Orlando and Orlando to dominate the United States in solar energy production. As the twenty-first century kicks off, we will see a huge increase in solar energy installations. Especially with the implementation of the Paris Climate Accord, cities around the world will begin investing in these solar “farms.” These farms will allow for a huge reduction in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. As Orlando leads the way, other cities in the states hope to follow suit because of the great possibilities that Solar Power brings.