Florida Power & Light Company's Office of Clean Energy has announced its plans for funding a range of solar-power installations and educating customers about solar energy.

This fall, FPL will offer approximately $9 million in rebates for residential and business customers who wish to install solar water heater or solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. In addition, FPL plans to install solar arrays at nearly 100 public schools and other educational facilities throughout its territory while also helping more than 400 families in need by installing solar water heater systems in homes being built or refurbished by Habitat for Humanity and other non-profit organizations. All of these projects are part of a pilot program approved by the Florida Public Service Commission.

"FPL has long been an advocate for solar power and new technologies, and we recognize we're in a unique position to help educate the public, and especially young people, about energy, which is such a critical issue for our future," said Buck Martinez, senior director of FPL's Office of Clean Energy. "We're excited to bring dynamic, hands-on educational tools to more and more Floridians than ever before over the course of the next year."

Solar rebate application period opens Oct. 15

FPL residential and business customers who plan to install solar water heating or solar PV systems can apply for rebate funding beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2013.

Rebate reservations for the available funding will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Funding for the solar rebates is limited to a total of approximately $9 million.

An individual solar installation requires a significant upfront investment from the customer. Based on data provided by customers who received FPL solar rebates during the past year, the upfront cost of a typical, 5-kW residential solar system is currently in the range of $20,000 to $25,000. At $2,000 per kW, FPL's solar rebate would offset $10,000 for this size installation.

"The cost of solar PV and solar water heating systems vary significantly, depending on the contractor, so it's important to do your research before making a purchase," Martinez said.

Interested customers must apply online at www.FPL.com/solarrebates and then complete the required process to receive a rebate reservation. Applications for approximately $9 million in rebate funds will be accepted for: residential PV, business PV, residential solar water heating and business solar water heating. FPL recommends that customers who are interested in applying for a rebate prepare in advance and have all the necessary components of the application ready because funds are expected to be reserved quickly. Application checklists and updated program details are available on www.FPL.com/solarrebates.

After the available funding has been fully reserved, a limited number of customers who do not receive a reservation will be placed on a standby waiting list in the order in which their applications were received. Should funds become available due to cancelled reservations, customers on the standby list will be notified