FAU Partner ‘Go SOLAR-Florida’ Receives Department of Energy Grant to Increase Use of Solar Energy
BOCA RATON, Fla. (November 8, 2013) – Florida Atlantic University and its partners in the “Go SOLAR-Florida” initiative have been awarded a $1.575 million, two-and-a-half year SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II competitive award from the U.S. Department of Energy to make it easier for Floridians to obtain grid-tied solar installations. The purpose of the award is to increase the use of and access to solar energy among the state’s residents and businesses by reducing market barriers, lowering non-hardware related installation costs and providing access to financing options.
The Go SOLAR-Florida team is a partnership of Florida counties, cities, the Florida Solar Energy Center and FAU, representing approximately 4 million Floridians. Six Florida counties are participating (Alachua, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange and St. Lucie), along with nine Broward County municipalities (Cooper City, Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Lighthouse Point, Margate, Pembroke Pines, Plantation and Wilton Manors), as well as the city of Venice in Sarasota County.
The Rooftop Solar Challenge II program empowers teams to undertake initiatives that make it easier and more affordable for Americans to go solar, reducing soft or “plug-in” costs by streamlining permit processes, updating planning and zoning codes, improving standards for connecting solar power to the electric grid and increasing access to financing.
“FAU faculty and students will provide technical assistance and facilitate review and amendment of local ordinances to ensure solar-friendly planning and zoning," said Diana Mitsova-Boneva, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Urban & Regional Planning within FAU’s College for Design and Social Inquiry and lead FAU researcher for the initiative. “Our program is dedicated to guiding students toward an urban future that is environmentally, economically and humanly beneficial, so the Go SOLAR project is an ideal way for students to get hands-on experience.”
The Go SOLAR-Florida team will use the funding to:
- Improve the solar permitting process.
- Promote solar financing options statewide.
- Market solar photovoltaics and solar rights.
- Promote clean energy development and related jobs.
- Model the benefits of intergovernmental cooperation.
- Promote a consistent state-wide standard for connecting solar systems to the grid.
The award also allows the team to build on the success of the first Go SOLAR Fest, which took place in January. Go SOLAR Fest II is scheduled for June 6 and 7, 2014 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. For more information and to register, visit broward.org/gogreen/gosolar. A Go SOLAR Fest III also will be planned for 2015.
For more information, contact Diana Mitsova-Boneva at 561-297-4285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
-FAU-Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.