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LifeStyle Homes has built hundreds of SunSmart? homes right here in Central Florida that meet the highest standards for energy efficiency. Our partnership with FSEC enables us to produce superior homes using the best possible combination of high-performance building components and total quality construction practices. In fact, because of our alliance with FSEC, in early 2010, LifeStyle Homes was the first builder in Brevard County, and the 41st builder in the nation, to meet the tough standards for quality, durability, healthfulness, and energy efficiency set forth by the U.S.
For 30 years, we’ve built a reputation of doing right by our customers, our community, and our country. A conservative group in Florida wants Floridians to be able to purchase solar power directly from other consumers, and it’s hoping a 2016 ballot initiative can make that happen. Florida-based Conservatives for Energy Freedom, launched last October by tea party activist and solar advocate Debbie Dooley, has created a petition for a ballot initiative that seeks to “encourage and promote local small-scale solar-generated electricity production and to enhance the availability of solar power to customers.” Florida’s current law stipulates that only utilities can sell electricity directly to consumers, but this initiative would go against that rule, making it possible for businesses and property owners to produce up to 2 megawatts of solar power and sell it directly to consumers. Tory Perfetti, a Florida-based conservative activist who’s head of Conservatives for Energy Freedom, told ThinkProgress that the group is planning on beginning their push for signatures on the petition next week. Perfetti said the feedback he’s received from Floridians who read about the ballot initiative in the Tampa Bay Times has been encouraging — he’s been getting Facebook messages, calls, texts and emails from supportive conservatives and liberals in the state, he said. That support isn’t surprising to Dooley, the tea party activist who’s fought for solar-friendly policies in Georgia, Florida and other states.
But it’s not just conservatives who are interested in increasing access to solar in Florida. Some advocates of solar energy, including Conservatives for Energy Freedom, see Florida as the next frontier for solar. Conservatives for Energy Freedom — along with state- and regionally-based solar advocacy groups like the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy, hope they can ultimately change some of these laws to be more encouraging of solar development. If you would like to find out more information on this home or other Real Estate that is for sale in Florida and the Florida Keys visit Keys Property Guy or here for a list of all the Florida Keys Short Sale Properties I have in inventory.
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Southwest Florida is starting to see all Lamar Advertising’s Billboards getting solar panel upgrades.
A rack mounted solar array at optimal tilt and orientation has all solar panels facing the same direction.
There is only one ideal tilt angle and compass orientation for grid-connected solar photovoltaic systems in Southwest Florida. The optimum tilt and orientation for solar modules can be found using publicly available resources that use a long history of local weather and solar radiation. I would love to give Lamar and the installer the benefit of the doubt, thinking that this would be a test system to see what orientation works out best.
I have been having a lively discussion with Lamar’s Director of Sustainability and Product Research both in the comments below and by email. To be clear, I acknowledge that Lamar is vigorously and sincerely trying to encourage people to use solar energy, and that they are dedicated to a prominent sustainability program. From a cost standpoint, you do have a point about having a single or few contractors assigned.
Regarding the Enphase microinverters, I am not suggesting that the D380 is an inferior product or that is was a poor choice. I agree fully that most Lamar billboards do not look like this, and anyone driving around Florida can make this observation. The economy of scale gained from larger system is huge, and would have allowed for a larger economic and environmental impact. Since you know this project is partially (20%) funded with grant dollars, I am surprised you never took the time to read Lamar’s grant application. This is all being done in the hope of helping to promote solar in Florida, and furthering the continued development of green industries in Florida.
Would it have been easier, cheaper, and more efficient to install 1mW in a field somewhere?
You speak of economies of scale for larger systems, but this is impossible because there are no returns for excess production other than at the avoided cost rate, so as you are well aware, it is impractical to install anything larger than a system to offset actual use, and have the expectation of any reasonable return. The last time I looked, Lamar was not in the renewable energy business, so they have nothing to gain. I just find it regrettable in the extreme that someone in your position, with obvious knowledge of the solar industry and the challenges it faces with public perception, who is also in a position to influence this perception by virtue of your blog, chooses not to fully understand the issues involved and the motivation behind this particular project, before commenting so negatively and publicly. Lamar is free to do what it pleases with solar energy, and I’m not usually in the business of talking people out of solar.

I thought you objected to this technically, on the basis of it not being as efficient an install as it could have been? Neither your original, first nor second responses made any reference al all to public policy. Tell me, how do you feel about the efficiency of using $2.5 million in public money to promote solar to hundreds of millions of people per year, for 20 to 25 years?
I thought we agreed to have a civil telephone conversation today, but it appears that you have no interest in resolving this issue offline.
Once again, I invite your employer, Lamar Advertising, to make an official response and I would be happy to post it. Todaya€™s world creates many challenges for homeowners, including financial hardships, questions about power usage, and the consciousness about leaving a smaller footprint. Solar Energy Systems Treasure Coast provides a financial return in the form of lower electric bills, tax credits, rebates, and incentive programs which are available at both the state and federal levels.
With our solar hot water systems, homeowners always have a reliable supply of free hot water.
Solar Energy Systems is participating in the Clean Energy Loan Program which is a low interest rate (4%) loan program, created through partnerships among the U.S. These standards were developed in partnership with the world-class scientists at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). FSEC is a research institute of the University of Central Florida (UCF), charged by the Florida legislature to develop and approve enhanced energy-efficiency technologies for the people of Florida. As technology improves and evolves, LifeStyle Homes and FSEC will continue our collaborative research, evaluation, and implementation of cost-effective, cutting-edge energy-efficiency enhancements, ensuring that we are building you the most high-performing home possible. He and his team of volunteers will be going to businesses, college campuses, libraries and individual residences to secure signatures for the petition. Conservatives For Energy Freedom wants to increase access to solar because it believes in the free market and increasing consumer choice — two things she said conservatives, especially, can get behind.
Last year, a poll found that 77 percent of Floridians supported net metering, a practice that allows owners of solar systems to be credited for the electricity they produce. Along with as much of the Southeast, Florida is ranked high in potential for solar power by the Department of Energy.
The home shown below is the perfect concept home to take advantage of all that Solar Off-Grid Green Living has to offer. Simply let us know your project time line and goals and one of our product solution specialists call you or meet you in your home. We understand the challenges facing Florida residents, everything from home owner associations to securing installations against hurricane force winds.
And now the new Energy Policy Act of 2005 allows you receive a federal tax credit worth 30% of the system cost! Become energy independent, reduce your utility bills, protect yourself against blackouts and reduce environmental pollution! Solar Direct has a complete line of Solar Electric products and accessories at extremely competitive prices.A We have consultants and engineers ready to assist you make the best choice for your energy needs. Contrary to common belief, there is enough solar energy, even in the cold Northeast, to warm your pool to summer levels. We have the solution and experience to make sure you get the solution that your home or business needs to gain all the benefits of renewable and green technologies. For that, we bring to you over 20 years of experience in servicing and installing commercial solar applications in the state of Florida. My frustration level with this project is quite high already, first because I believe it was ill-conceived greenwashing, but also because it was poorly implemented. It would have been far more efficient to install all of these 12 solar panels on a single rack system, purpose-built for the billboard.
This tilt angle and orientation will harness the maximum amount of solar energy over the course of a year.
After all, each of the six arrays features it’s own microinverter (the now obsolete Enphase D380). I am happy to report that the solar panels were askew in the picture above at the time of an upgrade to a digital billboard. Unfortunately, unlike the FPL rebate program, Lamar’s advertising campaign does not have people banging down the doors of solar dealers in Florida.
Although the Enphase D380 is now obsolete, there is a fantastic alternative in the M215 microinverter that also has a trunk-and-drop cabling system for a nice, easy, clean installation.
It is not economically viable (read: cost effective) to install very small distributed grid-interactive photovoltaic systems. However, that does not defeat the argument about whether this project should have been pursued in this manner. The installation of very small distributed solar electric systems is not cost effective, especially when the owner has better, more viable alternatives. Even doubling the installed capacity on half the number of billboards would have been a far better choice. You are delving into a public policy debate with respect to spending of public money- money which would have been better spent by creating a real renewable energy policy in Florida. As homeowners look for ways to decrease their monthly expenses, more and more often they are looking to solar power. As an international leader in energy research and development, FSEC is funded by UCF, the State of Florida, and the U.S.

In order to secure a spot on the 2016 ballot, the petition for the initiative must gain a total of 683,149 signatures from Floridians in at least seven congressional districts — though Perfetti is aiming for more than 700,000 signatures.
Seventy-one percent of Floridians, according to the poll, also opposed the idea of imposing a fee on Florida residents who install solar panels on their roofs. But the state’s laws historically haven’t been friendly to solar: along with granting only utilities the power to sell electricity to consumers, Florida also doesn’t have a renewable portfolio standard, and the state’s tangible personal property tax increases the cost of leased solar systems. And as a Florida resident, our systems will qualify for up to an additional $500 from Florida. The PV modules generate DC electricity and send it to the inverter, the inverter transforms DC power into AC electricity and regulates the charge of batteries. We understand the complications involved with hurricane resistance, permitting, Florida temperature and all the details that can be overlooked by professionals who simply aren't accustomed to serving you in Florida.
Since then I have been the co-owner and Principal Solar Designer at Florida Solar Design Group.
Here is a picture of a billboard in Fort Myers (which thankfully does not host Fafco Solar’s advertisement). Unless there are other cost, aesthetic, or technical reasons for an alternate orientation, solar panels should always be installed in manner that maximizes solar output. It would be easy to monitor each array to determine which produces the most energy over time. It certainly makes sense that more solar capacity is present on this billboard than others, as the electrical draw will by significantly greater. We have a legitimate and passionate disagreement about how the money was spent on this project, and that’s fine with me. Te D380 was an obvious choice for the designer of these systems because they were intended to be cookie-cutter two-module rack systems. Instead of installing 1,500 systems at 1,000 watt rating, wouldn’t it be more efficient to install one hundred and fifty 10,000 watt systems, or even a single 1.5 megawatt system?
I do not know who Lamar engaged to design the systems, but a solar contractor rather than an electrical contractor may have taken issue with the efficacy of the strategy. I was simply including this point so my readers would know that the product is no longer sold.
The only conclusion I can draw is that Lamar made the choice to install solar electric systems on as many billboards as possible to spread its message.
Lucie County, the Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF), and local community leaders and organizations.This program was established to help reduce energy bills in the communities and provide access to various clean energy solutions such as energy conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy production. Then, as the Tampa Bay Times reports, the ballot initiative must gain 60 percent of the vote in 2016 to pass. Our key technologies for Florida Solar are Solar Electric (PV), Solar Hot Water Heating Systems and Solar Pool Heating. Even in the cool winter months you will be able to enjoy the warm relaxing waters with your family. All six of the solar arrays are installed with different tilt angles and different compass directions.
By the way – the funds for the rebate were exhausted in about 15 minutes after the rebate windows was opened. Unfortunately, I just think it was a flawed design choice to go with a modular system that handcuffs the owner and installer.
If the goal is to reduce overall operating costs or truly pursue a green agenda, there is no argument or math that would support 1,500 small distributed power systems. Enphase is a major supplier of inverters for the work I do, and I highly recommend their products, especially the M215 that essentially ended the need for the D380.
The Federal Government through the Governor’s Energy Office put up $2.5M on top of Lamar’s $10M investment. I do feel there are better ways to accomplish this, which I will go into in a future post perhaps. No need to give up on your exercises routines, entertaining guests or pool fun and games with your loved one. Although they are generally pointing south, and at a reasonable tilt angle, there is no physical constraint that would cause someone to design the system this way. It is not operational at this time, and I acknowledge that the county has not inspected it as of today (See Permit Status Here).
Unfortunately, the decision to implement solar energy and brag about it without regard to cost and economic impact is the definition of greenwashing. But as I mentioned in my other post about this greenwashing project, it’s distributed solar taken to a degree that is completely cost ineffective. With a Solar Pool heater you can enjoy your investment all year, with the free energy provided by the Florida Sun. As of today, nothing has changed, and if the inspection is passed before it is fixed, I will also report on that. Szumlanski should think twice about the content of his writing from now on, and do his homework, rather than drawing conclusions which have absolutely no basis in fact.

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