Gainesville Approves Solar Feed-In Tariff


City commissioners in Gainesville, Fla., have endorsed a proposal from Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) to offer the U.S.' first solar photovoltaic electric feed-in-tariff (FIT) program.

Under the FIT program, participants will invest in their own PV systems to generate electricity and sell the power directly to GRU under a contract for 20 years at a rate of $0.32 per kWh.

GRU's previous program offered rebates to encourage the installation of PV systems and then bought back the excess power that was not used in the home or business. The advantage of the FIT is that the participant's income is much more predictable, because all of the power generated will be sold directly to GRU, the utility says. This factor is expected to increase participation.

With the commission's approval, legal staff are now authorized to draft an ordinance, with the first reading scheduled for Jan. 15, 2009, and the FIT program launch scheduled for March 1.

SOURCE: Gainesville Regional Utilities

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