All ‘solar’ systems go in Satellite Beach

Satellite Beach is living up to the claim of being Brevard’s most solar city with several projects complete or underway toward achieving its Sustainability Action Plan.

In the plan, adopted in 2017, city staff and members of the city Sustainability Board targeted 20 initiatives for the city government to pursue over the next five years to lead by example through accomplishing Green Achievement Targets (GAT).

Just look in the City Hall parking lot for progress on the city’s GATs in the Energy and Transportation category recommendations: two Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations installed in December 2017, and the city recently purchased a 2015 Chevy Volt with about 30,000 miles on it to be used by city staff on local trips.

And, on the roof of the same complex, there is movement on the long-sought plan to install solar panels to offset the cost of electricity used in the facilities and perhaps for daytime power generation following a hurricane. After delays and revisions to the project, the Satellite Beach City Council on May 2 approved an agreement with ESA Solar Energy LLC, with installation to occur as soon as possible.

Out on the beach, construction has started on the installation of solar car canopy at Pelican Beach Park as part of a program offered by Florida Power & Light. Satellite Beach will be renting the space to FPL, which will build and maintain the canopy as part of the company’s SolarNow Program.

The canopy will be located over eight parking spaces along the southwestern corner of the parking lot. It will be 16 feet in height and slope downward toward State Road A1A facing west for maximum sun exposure. The canopy, which should be complete by the end of June, will offer new outlets to vendors who attend events at Pelican Beach Park and will be connected to the grid, said environmental programs coordinator Nick Sanzone.

FPL customers may elect to participate in the program by contributing $9 per month, about 30 cents a day, on their energy bill.

Funds will go toward the development of solar energy projects in local communities.

Other related recommendations in the GATS: The city should strive to have 25 percent of its power come from renewable energy by 2030, and should be completely powered by renewable energy by 2050.

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