Media Release

County Receives Go SOLAR Funding Award

Thursday, November 7, 2013 10:30 AM

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the Go SOLAR Florida team a $1.575 million, two and a half year SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II competitive award to make it easier for Floridians to obtain grid-tied solar installations. The purpose of the award is to increase the use of and access to solar energy among the state’s residents and businesses by reducing market barriers, lowering non-hardware related installation costs and providing access to financing options.

The Go SOLAR Florida team is a partnership of Florida counties, cities, the Florida Solar Energy Center and Florida Atlantic University representing approximately 4 million Floridians. Six Florida counties are participating (Alachua, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange and St. Lucie), along with nine Broward County municipalities and the City of Venice in Sarasota County.

As part of the Florida Team, Alachua County will be receiving approximately $290,000 in partnership with the cities of Gainesville and Newberry to develop and implement an online permitting process for small scale residential and commercial rooftop solar installations. Once developed, the system will be available for use by any of the County’s municipalities that choose to participate.

The Rooftop Solar Challenge II program empowers teams to undertake initiatives that make it easier and more affordable for Americans to go solar, reducing soft or “plug-in” costs by streamlining permit processes, updating planning and zoning codes, improving standards for connecting solar power to the electric grid, and increasing access to financing.

The Go SOLAR – Florida team will use the funding to:

1.    Improve the solar permitting process,

2.    Promote solar financing options statewide,

3.    Market solar photovoltaics and solar rights,

4.    Promote clean energy development and related jobs,

5.    Model the benefits of intergovernmental cooperation, and

6.    Promote a consistent state-wide standard for connecting solar systems to the grid.

The award also allows the team to build on the success of the first Go SOLAR Fest held in January 2013. Go SOLAR Fest II is already scheduled for June 6 and 7, 2014 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. For more information and to register, please visit A Go SOLAR Fest III will also be planned for 2015.

For more information on Go SOLAR Florida initiative call 954-519-1260 or email For questions about Alachua County’s participation, contact Holly Banner at 352-374-5249 or


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).