SunSmart Community Partnerships: Summary and Lessons Learned Report

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Energy Consumption; Buildings; Education; Energy Efficiency; Solar Energy; Photovoltaics


Through a working partnership with the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA), theFlorida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA), the LegalEnvironmental Assistance Foundation (LEAF), and FMEA member utilities, the SunSmart program offers a unified, low-cost solution to providing municipal electric customers with a solar energy option. It also provides its member utilities with a high level of technical andadministrative support to alleviate concerns about working with an unfamiliar electric generation technology. It relies on a core team to develop a standardized marketing andpublic outreach plan which can be utilized by all participants, and uses a central purchasing agent to streamline and simplify hardware purchases.The program includes an intricate website, which allows Florida consumers to learn moreabout solar energy, calculate the environmental benefits of displacing conventional technologies with clean energy choices, and provides information on each utility's green program. Customers may sign up to participate in their local green energy program on-lineas well. Through the development and maintenance of its one of a kind comprehensive photovoltaic information management system, the program will also provide participating utilities with access to instantaneous data on all of their installed PV systems as well as performance tracking, economic performance analysis and life-cycle costing data. Each utility will have its own password to enter information into an on-line data log so that the systems can be easily maintained. Daily, monthly and yearly performance reports will be made availableto end-users in an easy-to-read downloadable format right from the Internet. This site also includes a comprehensive online curriculum unit that can be used with the data and reporting capabilities of the PV information management system. It can easily be integrated into honors level middle school and high school teaching standards. The Florida Solar Energy Centerprovides hands-on training workshops for teachers that wish to use the curriculum materialsand data acquisition systems.

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Education; Buildings - Energy Consumption; Buildings - Energy Efficiency; Photovoltaics; Solar Energy

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