January 25, 2020
Required solar panels in South Miami

Photo: Daniel A. Varela / Miami Herald

Energy

Required solar panels in South Miami

South Miami is the only Florida municipality to require rooftop panels.

In 2017, South Miami became the first municipality in Florida and the first in the U.S. outside California to require solar panels on new houses. The ordinance applies to the dozen or so new single-family houses built in the city each year, as well as a few townhomes. It also applies to major home renovations.

South Miami encompasses only about 2.3 square miles, and it’s mostly built out. Mayor Philip K. Stoddard, who championed the measure, acknowledges that the direct environmental impact of the city’s ordinance will be small. But, says the Florida International University biological sciences professor, it was a measure “within my reach.”

Stoddard, who has been mayor for 9½ years and whose term will end in 2020, began using a rooftop solar array at his own home before proposing the ordinance. It includes a battery system that allows him to draw on solar power during rainy days and full power outages. He took his whole property off the grid for a full week last June and says his solar power and batteries provided for the household’s electric needs; his only concession was to charge his electric car only during sunny days.

Stoddard’s most recent energy bill from FP&L averaged 33 cents a day, he says. “There’s a higher return on capital on my solar array than there is on my house and a lot less maintenance,” Stoddard says. He also points out that during power outages solar power with battery backup is quieter, gives off no odor and has fewer moving parts to maintain than a generator.

The South Miami ordinance doesn’t include commercial structures “because the complexity of the roof is always a little bit uncertain,” Stoddard says. “I think it’s worth doing, but what I’m really hoping is that the economics begins to drive it.” At least one approved commercial redevelopment project in the city, the 9.7-acre Shops at Sunset Place, plans to include rooftop solar panels. Sunset Place owners Federal Realty Investment Trust, Grass River Proper and Comras Co. worked with Stoddard to add sustainable elements to the redevelopment proposal after the city rejected an earlier proposal.

 

Read more in Florida Trend's September issue.

Select from the following options:

EXISTING
DIGITAL
SUBSCRIBERS

Access Article Now!

DIGITAL
SINGLE
ISSUE

Get a single DIGITAL copy of this issue

$4.95

PRINT
SINGLE
ISSUE

Get a single PRINT copy of this issue

$4.95
plus $3 postage & handling

PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

One year in PRINT

$14.98*
plus a FREE gift!

DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION

One year DIGITAL

$14.98*
plus a FREE gift!

ALL ACCESS SUBSCRIPTION

One year Combo
PRINT + DIGITAL

$24.95*
plus a FREE gift!


CURRENT  PRINT  SUBSCRIBERS

If you are already a print subscriber,
ADD DIGITAL EDITION ACCESS
to your existing subscription here!
(or call our office at 727-892-2643)

* offer valid for new subscribers only

Tags: Miami-Dade, Energy & Utilities, Environment, Government/Politics & Law, Housing/Construction, Technology/Innovation, Feature

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Dementia-friendly dining debuts in Florida
Dementia-friendly dining debuts in Florida

An Orlando-area Italian restaurant is taking on a unique new mission. The Meatball Stoppe says it is about to become the only dementia-friendly restaurant in Central Florida. 

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Should life insurance companies be allowed to deny policies or set premiums based on an individual's genetic test results?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Need more information
  • Indifferent/no opinion
  • Other

See Results

Florida Trend Media Company
490 1st Ave S
St Petersburg, FL 33701
727.821.5800

© Copyright 2020 Trend Magazines Inc. All rights reserved.