The Current Rivalry between Florida Solar and North Carolina Solar
Within the United States, specifically in the Southeast states, there is a solar energy rivalry between North Carolina and Florida. For the longest time, North Carolina held the top spot for solar energy within the Southeast, and the state is ranked 3rd place nationally. Florida would rank within the top 10, but Florida has risen up to 4th place in the past 3 years. This data is collected from the 1st quarter of 2021 by the Solar Energy Industry Association or SEIA, so it is possible that Florida’s rank might change at the end of the year.
While Florida might be ranked in 4th place nationally and 2nd place within the Southeast, Florida has ranked higher than North Carolina in the overall report of 2020 from SEIA. Florida is also expected to top North Carolina once again, according to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s report in June. The June report details the total solar installations in 2020 from each state in the Southeast with North Carolina solar at 3,955 megawatts or MW and Florida solar at 3,909 MW. Therefore, it would seem that SEIA and SACE may use different measurements to account for total solar energy, but it doesn’t change the fact that North Carolina and Florida are head to head.
Expected for Florida Solar as 1st Place in the Southeast
Following SACE’s June report, it explains how North Carolina barely claimed 1st place as Southeast solar leader 2020, and the increased demand for solar energy within 2020 allowed Florida to greatly increase their solar energy. Following this pattern, Florida solar will continue to scale up and take 1st place as Southeast solar leader for the next couple years. Even Georgia has been reported to surpass North Carolina in the near future, due to North Carolina coming to a stagnant demand for solar energy. In conclusion, this would mean that Florida would soon claim the title of “Southeast solar leader” as well as 3rd place in solar energy nationally with Georgia as a possible new rival.
Image: Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Contributing Factors to Florida Solar
Contributing to the rise of Florida’s rank in solar energy are the three companies in Florida that have received SunRiser status, which is a title given to companies that are forecast to have the largest increase of watts per customer solar ratio in the next four years. These companies being Gulf Power, Tampa Electric, and Orlando Utilities. Tampa Electric being Florida’s current top producer of solar energy and 11th nationally.
If you live in Pensacola, then you should recognize Gulf Power. Gulf Power is predicted to bring 2,057 solar watts per customer by 2024, which is the highest than any other company in the state, which is also the 3rd highest prediction in the Southeast. Like it or hate it, they are using solar energy in our community, especially downtown Pensacola, to push Florida to 1st place.
Conclusion to Florida Solar
In summary, Florida solar energy sits head to head with North Carolina in both Southeast and national rankings. Due to increasing solar energy demand, Florida is expected to take the “Southeast solar leader” title in the upcoming years, which will put Florida back in 3rd place on a national scale. The reason behind Florida’s rise in position is the solar companies in Florida receiving “SunRisers” titles and rising in the ranks amongst solar companies in both the Southeast and country. Ultimately, Florida will be number one for solar energy in the Southeast states for years to come.
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