Advertisement
St. Pete co-op has the potential to bring more solar to the city | Editorial
The city remains at the forefront of offering businesses and residents a good option to install solar power.
An artists rendering showing the solar panels on the St. Petersburg Police Department Solar Array on the top Level of parking garage off 2nd Ave N next to the new St. Petersburg Police Department headquarters at 1301 1st Ave N, on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020 in St. Petersburg.
An artists rendering showing the solar panels on the St. Petersburg Police Department Solar Array on the top Level of parking garage off 2nd Ave N next to the new St. Petersburg Police Department headquarters at 1301 1st Ave N, on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020 in St. Petersburg. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
This article represents the opinion of the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board.
Published Feb. 28, 2020

When it comes to solar power, the more people on board, the better. This week, St. Petersburg welcomed its fifth solar co-op to the city, offering homeowners the opportunity to join together to find the best provider and best price on solar. It is commendable that the city of St. Petersburg was the first in Florida to start a solar co-op in 2016 and has taken the lead once again.

For homeowners who are excited by the prospect of solar but have many questions, a co-op is a great option. St. Petersburg’s co-op is open to both homeowners and business owners locally. The process is facilitated by nonprofit Solar United Neighbors, the group that will also conduct the competitive bidding process for a solar provider. Homeowners who join the co-op are under no obligation to purchase solar. The chosen company will give each homeowner a personalized proposal for making their home solar powered.

More and more, the region and the state have looked to co-ops as a sustainable, user-friendly and less expensive way to help homeowners with solar. In fact, Florida went from being ranked 14th in solar power installations in 2017 to fifth in 2019. North Pinellas and Hillsborough County have also conducted co-ops through Solar United Neighbors. As St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said, “If we are going to become more energy efficient and transition to 100% clean energy, it is going to take all of us working together.”

Editorials are the institutional voice of the Tampa Bay Times. The members of the Editorial Board are Times Chairman and CEO Paul Tash, Editor of Editorials Tim Nickens, and editorial writers Elizabeth Djinis, John Hill and Jim Verhulst. Follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news.