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Solar news: March 22nd, 2019

In this week’s Solar News Roundup, one of the world’s largest roofing companies begins offering its own “solar roof,” and FPL proposes the country’s largest community solar program.

Standard Industries Inc. begins offering its own “solar roof”

Standard Industries, one of the largest roofing companies in the world, has begun to offer a solar roof product seemingly in direct competition with the much-talked-about Tesla Solar Roof. According to Martin DeBono, president of the company’s GAF Energy division, Standard Industries has received 200 orders for the product so far and expects to ship 2,000 orders in 2019.

As opposed to Tesla’s solar shingle product, GAF Energy’s solution isn’t a customizable, made-to-order product. Rather, it’s a one-size-fits-all option ready to be installed out of the box. DeBono spoke about the mindset of GAF Energy getting into this new line of work: “We’re a growing startup in a hot space and we’re starting from zero,” he said. “The goal is to make roofers solar people.”

Recent policy movements, such as California’s mandate for new homes to have solar starting in 2020, highlight the growing value for integration between roofing and solar companies. Time will tell how Tesla will respond, if at all, but the Tesla Solar Roof still remains an intriguing and innovative product in its own right.

Florida Power & Light (FPL) proposes the country’s largest community solar program

A proposal filed by FPL with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), if approved, would kick off the largest community solar program in the United States. The program, known as FPL SolarTogether, will lead to 1,490 megawatts (MW) of new solar capacity spread across 20 new solar plants in FPL service territory. The power plants are projected to produce net savings of $139 million for customers long-term. According to the Solar Energy Industry of America (SEIA), there are currently 1,298 megawatts of community solar installed across the U.S. This means that FPL SolarTogether has the potential to double community solar capacity in the U.S.

Following approval, the first six solar plants that will go live will each have about 300,000 solar panels, capable of generating about 74.5 MW of solar. FPL hopes to have the solar plants operational by early 2020.


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