State Convention Florida Sun Workshop

Report by Ethelene Jones and Diane Marks

 

Workshop leader: Sharon Lynn, Seminole County

Sharon described the successful procedures used by Seminole County to establish their Seminole County Solar Co-op:

  1.     Line up partners, such as:
  2.     Sierra Club
  3.     Citizens Climate Lobby
  4.     Audubon Society
  5.     Soil and Water Conservation Board (their mailing list is very useful)
  6.     County commissioners
  7.      Other local leaders
  8.     Form a Steering Committee
  9.     Schedule a press conference:
  10.     Send press conference notices 1 week, 4 days, and one day before launch.
  11.     Notify newspapers, radio, TV and local cable stations.
  12.     Arrange for sites for Information meetings.
  13.     Hold the press conference:
  14.     Consider holding press conference in front of a large solar installation or government office.
  15.     Invite county commissioners, elected officials, a local TV station meteorologist.
  16.     Take plenty of photos and shoot videos to include in a press release for distribution immediately after press conference.
  17.     Publicize co-op sign up opportunities:
  18.     Create handouts that explained the co-op
  19.     Tabling at events in the community
  20.     Hold Information Meetings
  21.     Select a contractor:
  22.     After 30 homes have signed up, send out a request for proposals (“RFP”) to contractors.  An example RFP and response template are available on the FL SUN website at http://www.flsun.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2017/06/Seminole-County-Solar-Co-op-RFP.pdf

In response to an audience question, Sharon clarified that every co-op home gets an individualized estimate from the chosen contractor.

Jodi from FLSUN in Miami discussed her work at trying to streamline the certification process for installing solar panels.  Each county and each municipality in a county has a different procedure.  The Solar Installers have to deal with all of this and it can delay installation.