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Solar news: July 12th, 2019

In this week’s Solar News Roundup, EV chargers hit U.S. national parks, and a report says that Florida consumers interconnecting to the grid more than doubled in 2018.

National parks to install EV chargers nationwide

If you’re planning on driving through national park territory in the near future, you might see a new infrastructure addition: EV chargers. Thanks to a donation from BMW and the National Park Foundation, 100 new EV charging stations will be installed in and around national parks across the country. Since 2017, over 90 chargers have been installed at 13 different parks across 7 states. Some parks that have received chargers so far include Death Valley National Park, Cape Cod National Seashore, and Olympic National Park.

Public electric vehicle chargers are now becoming commonplace at locations like shopping centers and gas stations, but there’s still a long way to go towards supporting mainstream EV adoption. According to Bloomberg, about 60,000 public charging outlets were operational in the U.S. last year, which is far below the number needed to support widespread use of EVs.

Consumer-owned renewables more than doubled in Florida in 2018

According to utility reports filed with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), the number of renewable generation installations owned by utility customers in the state increased by 57% in 2018. Florida’s total system interconnections reached 37,862 in 2018, of which 37,831 are solar panel systems. In 2017, the state only had 24,157 total interconnections.

“After a decade of use, our interconnection rules have more than proven their effectiveness at ‘priming the pump’ for growing customer-owned rooftop solar,” said Art Graham, chairman of the PSC. “This, coupled with the many utility-scale solar projects coming online, benefits Florida’s renewable generation for all customers.”

The state established interconnection rules to utility grid systems in 2008, and since then, renewable systems have increased by over 6,400 percent. Under the rules, Florida’s utilities are required to offer expedited processes for interconnection agreements.


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