Gainesville Regional Utilities Announces Approval of First U.S. Solar Feed-In-TariffFebruary 10, 2009
Source: Clean Edge News
Gainesville Regional Utilities recently announced that its board of directors, the Gainesville City Commission, gave unanimous approval to adopt a solar photovoltaic feed-in-tariff— the first of its kind in the nation. Based on highly successful models in Europe, it offers GRU electric customers a chance to invest in solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and sell electricity directly to GRU.
Ed Regan, GRU assistant general manager for strategic planning, visited Germany to study European PV models prior to proposing the Gainesville program. Regan said, “The feed-in-tariff is more attractive to solar investors than traditional solar rebate programs because it guarantees that the utility will buy all of the electricity produced by the PV system at a fixed rate for 20 years. It offers investors a reliable and predictable source of income.”
Pending expected Florida Public Service commission approval, GRU customers can sign up for the feed-in-tariff as of March 1. According to the company, participants signing up during the first two years of the program will be guaranteed a fixed rate of $0.32 per kilowatt hour for 20 years. GRU estimates that investors will see a 5-percent return on investment for large-scale projects.