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In this week’s Solar News Roundup, a new study indicates just how much the “green economy” has grown in the U.S., and FPL sets its sights on an ambitious community solar program.

Study suggests America’s “Green Economy” is worth $1.3 trillion

According to a new study by researchers at University College London, almost 9.5 million American workers are employed in a “green economy” that generates $1.31 trillion in annual revenue, equivalent to approximately 7 percent of the United States’ annual GDP. That adds up to over 20 percent growth over the 2013 to 2016 fiscal years.

Growth in the green economy has been lead by the renewable energy sector and was supported by other environmental businesses such as air pollution management, waste management, and water treatment. The study also cites “low-carbon” sectors like electric vehicles, green finance, and energy efficiency as making increasingly significant contributions. 

Florida Power and Light files to establish the nation’s largest community solar program

Florida Power and Light (FPL), Vote Solar, Walmart, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) have collaboratively filed a settlement intending to establish America’s largest community solar program, known as “SolarTogether”. The program is part of a larger statewide initiative to install 30 million solar panels by 2030.

SolarTogether will be a whopping 1.49 gigawatts (GW) spread over 20 projects, with six to be completed by 2020 and another 14 to finished by 2021. That’s enough community solar to more than double the current community solar capacity of the entire country.

The proposal will allow approximately 10,000 low-income homes to participate and enjoy a one year payback period. In addition, customers will receive a free home energy audit. All told, FPL estimates that participants will save $1,300 over the life of the program.