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JEA SolarSmart Offers Customers Option For Renewable Energy

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Tiffany Salameh
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Solar panels at the Northwest Jacksonville Solar Partners solar farm just north of the Jacksonville International Airport.

JEA’s SolarSmart program is offering customers a way to benefit from solar energy without installing solar panels on their roofs.

The program allows customers to receive a percentage of their energy from the utility’s renewable solar source for an additional cost.

“It allows our customers the opportunity to receive anywhere from one percent to a hundred percent of their energy requirements from solar,” said Mike Brost, JEA vice president and general manager of electric systems, during a community event Thursday.

The solar power, Brost said, will come from the Northwest Jacksonville Solar Partners solar farm just north of the Jacksonville International Airport.

The NWJAX project is owned by American Electric Power OnSite Partners and features single axis solar trackers that track the sun from east to west throughout the day. The tracking system is capable of generating enough clean and renewable energy to power over a thousand homes, Brost said.

“In terms of reduced (carbon dioxide) emission, that equates to planting 270,000 trees or taking 2,250 gas-guzzling vehicles off of the road,” he said.

At just one percent solar use, customers would pay about 40 cents extra per month. The additional cost rises with the percentage of energy customers choose to receive from solar.

If a customer chooses to have 50 percent of its energy come from the solar farms, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates a savings of 4.6 tons of carbon dioxide from being released in the atmosphere each year. The savings is 9.2 tons a year for those that chose to have 100 percent of their energy from solar. 

JEA SolarSmart is available for commercial and residential customers. Enrollment is limited and will be available on a first come first served basis. For more information, call 665-6000.

Tiffany Salameh can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter at @tiffanysalameh