Solar Co-op Advocates Express Opposition To JEA Policy Changes

Nov 28, 2017

JEA’s Board met Tuesday and heard from members of a solar co-op opposing recent changes to how the utility will reimburse rooftop solar customers for excess power.

Angela DeMonbreun told the board what WJCT first reported earlier this month — that changes to JEA’s net metering policy forced her group, Florida-Sun, to halt plans for a solar cooperative in Duval County.

“Based on analysis from the solar industry, we believe this change will effectively halt Jacksonville’s adoption of rooftop solar, regardless of the newly-adopted battery incentive programs,” she said.

In October, JEA voted to minimize how much it pays new solar users for the power they sell back to the grid in exchange for providing users with an incentive to buy battery storage.

JEA Board Chair Alan Howard said he disagrees with solar proponents who feel the new policy was aimed at reducing rooftop solar in favor of utility-scale generation.

But he said he’s open to revisiting the issue later on.

JEA’s new policy is scheduled to reduce its reimbursement rate, known as net-metering, from 10 cents a kilowatt hour to three cents.

Under the JEA plan, anyone who installs solar before April of next year will lock in the current net metering rate and existing solar users will be grandfathered in at their current rate for the next 20 years.