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Mount Dora Utility Customers Can Go Solar Without Adding Panels to Roof Beginning Dec. 1

FMPA works with 20 Florida municipal electric utilities and Origis Energy, and announced earlier this year a major expansion of the Florida Municipal Solar Project, calling it "one of the largest municipal-backed solar projects in the nation" in their press release.

November 29, 2023
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Article from Leesburg Daily Commercial

MOUNT DORA — Mount Dora residents will have the option to add solar energy to their home through the city utility company beginning Dec. 1. Interested customers will have the option to apply for the community shared solar program, allowing them to choose from 25%, 50% or 100% of their power to be solar generated.

“Many of our residents have expressed interest in our electric utility providing solar options for several years, and we are thrilled to launch this program,” Steve Langley, City of Mount Dora Electric Utility director, said in a press release.

“Unlike traditional rooftop solar options where customers have to mount solar panels onto their homes, the Mount Dora Community Solar Program allows customers to continue to utilize the same utility company for power and decide how much of their electricity comes from clean, renewable energy,” Langley added.

Mount Dora Electric Utility customers can opt into the community solar program at a rate that accounts for the difference between solar energy and natural gas energy.

“At this time, solar generation is slightly more expensive than natural gas generation,” Langley explained to the Daily Commercial.

“However, the solar cost will not change much for the next 20 years and natural gas prices are expected to gradually increase.  Once the natural gas prices are more than the solar price there will be a savings to the customer. By utilizing subscription solar, residences will be able to better control the expected increases for electric usage.”

For 1,000 kilowatt hours, which is the average usage, a fee of $4.99 will be added to the electric bill (this may change depending on the cost of natural gas).

“The Community Solar Program is yet another way the city of Mount Dora creates money saving opportunities for our residents,” said Mayor Crissy Stile in a press statement.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, community solar projects generate electricity from sunlight and the electricity flows through a meter to the utility grid. Community solar subscribers (such as households, businesses, or any other electricity customer) pay for a share of the electricity generated by the community solar project. This is usually in the form of a monthly subscription fee.

“The local utility pays the community solar provider for the energy generated, and each subscriber receives a portion of the dollar value generated by their community solar subscription as a credit,” the agency’s website says. “Typically, this credit is applied directly to a subscriber’s monthly electric bill, helping to reduce customers’ electricity costs.”

The Mount Dora Community Solar Program is made possible through the Mount Dora Community Solar Farm, unveiled in March and built on City of Mount Dora property, as well as the Florida Municipal Solar Project (FMSP).

FMSP provides solar-generated energy from several solar sites across the state to participating cities. Each of the public utilities participating in this project is an owner-member of the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA).

Residents have contacted the utility and the elected officials expressing their interest in the program and finding out more about the program.

“Mount Dora Electric Utility worked Florida FMPA engineers and attorneys to develop the program,” Langley said. “Also FMPA is building large solar farms that Mount Dora is participating to provide more cost effective solar to the community.”  (For details, visit fmpa.com/florida-municipal-utilities-expand-large-scale-solar-project.)

FMPA works with 20 Florida municipal electric utilities and Origis Energy, and announced earlier this year a major expansion of the Florida Municipal Solar Project, calling it “one of the largest municipal-backed solar projects in the nation” in their press release. The expansion, they said, will quadruple the amount of solar power currently generated by the project.

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