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Tesla’s SolarCity announces expansion in Florida after long battle against local utilities


Despite its “Sunshine State” nickname, Florida ranks among the lowest states for solar power deployment thanks to anti-solar regulations backed by local electric utilities. But on election day, the citizens of Florida showed interest in solar energy by rejecting the anti-solar Amendment 1, which according to solar installers, including SolarCity, would have made it easier for utilities to add fees to make solar more expensive for customers.

Following the election, Tesla’s SolarCity is the latest solar installer announcing an expansion in Florida today now that it will become economically viable for a lot more households to install solar arrays on their homes.

In a press release announcing the expansion, SolarCity, which was officially acquired by Tesla last week, wrote:

This morning we announced residential solar service in Florida, something we’ve wanted to announce for a long time. Though the “Sunshine State” doesn’t get quite as much sun as the southwestern U.S., it consistently ranks among the nation’s ten sunniest states (the Orlando area, where we’re initially launching service, enjoys more than 230 sunny days each year). 

SolarCity will is opening a local installation center in Clermont to serve customers of Duke Energy and Orlando Utilities Commission in the greater Orlando area. The company confirmed that it plans to expand “to additional areas of the state in the coming months.”

The company said that the rejection of Amendment 1 on election day made this expansion possible:

The Amendment was disguised as pro-solar policy in what amounted to a cynical attempt by solar opponents to slow down solar development in the state. Thanks to this vote, solar customers in Florida will continue to receive full retail credit for any excess solar electricity they provide to the grid when they aren’t at home.

Under Tesla, SolarCity’s brand will be phased out throughout the next year and it will fold under Tesla’s brand. The company plans to continue to sell residential and commercial solar installations under leases and power purchase agreements, but Tesla also plans to keep increasing the share of systems sold directly to customers.

The company is selling installations with solar panels which can be combined with Tesla’s Powerwall 2, and next year Tesla will add the solar roof products in its offering.

Florida homeowners can finding out more and can request a free quote on SolarCity’s website. We suggest to get quotes from more than one installer to make sure you get the best energy solution for your house or business. UnderstandSolar is a great free service to link you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates for free.

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