Tallahassee saluted for solar power use

An aerial view of Tallahassee.
Photo Submitted by Arieon Baker.

Frontier Group and the Environment America Research & Policy Center recently named Tallahassee a “Solar Star” for its exceptional use of solar energy.

Local residents are indeed becoming more knowledgeable and involved, converting their homes to sun powered utilities.

Information can be gleaned in the report, “Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America” by the EARPC. The report uses a formula to determine the cities with the most solar photovoltaics (PV) installed per capita.

In order to make the list, a city must have at least 50 watts of PV installed per person.

Tallahassee is ranked as one of the leading cities in PV per capita. Based on its findings, “Tallahassee is ranked as a leading Solar Star due to having 157 watts per person of solar PV capacity installed.”

Allen and Randy Ransome have had residential solar panels on their Tallahassee home for the past five years. “It is a long-time investment,” said Ransome. “Ten years ago, solar energy was so expensive but in the more recent years it is becoming more affordable.’’

The Ransomes are not the only people in Tallahassee who are able to afford a predominantly solar-powered home.

The City of Tallahassee has implemented a new program to help make it easier for homeowners who are interested in making the switch over to solar energy.

According www.energy.gov, under the “Tallahassee utilities-solar loan” tab, “The City of Tallahassee Utilities offers loans with an interest rate of 5 percent for a variety of energy-saving measures, including photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar water-heating systems. Under this program, customers may borrow up to $20,000 for PV systems.”

The new loan program has been very successful in recruiting new solar energy clients. In fact, the city has begun plans to expand the program by creating new solar farms.

When asked why he felt so passionately about the future of solar energy, Ransome replied, “I don’t think I will ever totally go solar, although it did cut my utility bill in half. I want to use solar energy just enough to where it does good for the planet.”