USDA Awards $190K in On-Site Solar Projects to Two Florida Businesses

April 2, 2024
Blue Grotto LLC of Levy County, Fla., and Adaptive Enterprises Corp. in Fort Walton Beach are installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at their sites.

Two rural Florida businesses—a freshwater dive resort and an equipment rental and sales store—are entering the renewable energy transition thanks to nearly $200,000 in on-site solar funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Blue Grotto LLC of Levy County, Fla., and Adaptive Enterprises Corp. in Fort Walton Beach are installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at their sites. The USDA Rural Development program is awarding $190,845 to the two businesses as they install renewables to help offset utility energy costs and reduce carbon emissions.

“USDA is committed to ensuring farmers, ranchers and small businesses are directly benefiting from both a clean energy economy and a strong U.S. supply chain,” said Lakeisha Hood Moїse, Florida State Director with USDA Rural Development.

Levy County freshwater dive resort Blue Grotto will receive nearly $138,000 to install a planned 45-kW solar PV system, hoping to save $7,750 a year in electricity costs.

Adaptive Enterprises, which rents and sells various types of equipment in Fort Walton Beach, will utilize its $53,447 award to install a 36.86-kWh grid-tied solar PV system. The project will include four solar inverters and replace 99% of the building’s historic energy consumption, according to the USDA news release.

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Florida ranks third nationwide among U.S. states for newly installed solar capacity, according to the latest report from the Solar Energy Industries Association. The Sunshine State added close to 3.2 GW in solar for 2023, including some 50,000 residential systems over the past two years, the SEIA reported.

Overall, U.S. solar installed capacity topped a record 32.4 GW nationwide last year, according to the annual solar outlook delivered by SEIA and Wood Mackenzie in March. In fact, new solar made up more than half (53%) of all electric generating capacity added to the grid last year, including utility-scale, community, residential rooftop and microgrid projects.

The two rural Florida businesses gained the solar awards via the Rural Energy for America program.


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