- Target: 100% renewable electricity in city operations by 2030, community-wide by 2050
- Status: In progress
- RES: Solar PV
- Implementation: In August 2017, Orlando’s City Council unanimously passed the resolution to transition to 100% clean energy target. It was led by Mayor Buddy Dyer, and supported by local organizations, including the League of Women Voters, IDEAS for Us, the NAACP, and Sierra Club. The coalition worked to secure a commitment to replace the city utility’s two remaining coal generation units with renewable sources. Solar farms were developed by the city with more planned for the future. In Orlando, the farms benefited from an average of 300 days of sunshine a year. One solar farm today powers Orlando’s city hall and police station.
To address the upfront costs of solar infrastructure and concerns about availability, Orlando worked closely with its municipal utility, the Orlando Utilities Commission, to decarbonize its energy mix, expand the availability of solar energy, and create programs that reduce the upfront costs for consumers. The Community Solar program allowed residents and businesses to choose the source of their energy, with up to 100% coming from renewable sources, and Collective Solar, a cooperative model enabled homeowners to opt-in to rooftop solar at reduced costs. The PACE program was implemented, providing $500 million in clean energy financing to residents and businesses. The city worked to ensure a sustainable, clean energy economy by requiring that all new buildings be certified LEED Silver at minimum. Every new building must also be solar-ready or have the capacity to add on solar. Other steps taken included reducing the costs of solar, streamlining the new building permit process, implementing contractor training, and clearly defining solar-energy equipment in its energy code. Economic barriers to clean energy adoption is addressed through programs which subsidize the retrofitting homes of lower-income residents.
- Population: 307,573 (2020)
- Area: 119.08 sq mi (308.41 km2)
- Link: https://www.orlando.gov/Initiatives/2018-Community-Action-Plan