Electric Utility Corporations like Florida Power & Light are legally entitled to offset real estate costs and all operating expenses for their solar PV installations through capacity charges with guaranteed revenue, while residential PV system operators do not benefit from such regulatory entitlements.
Residential PV systems therefore play an irrelevant, almost negligible role in the sunshine state. The actual share of Florida's 4.04% solar electricity generation capability from residential and commercial solar PV installations remains well below 1% in 2022.
● Community Solar with remote net-metering is against the applicable laws in Florida which exclusively favor the utility corporations.
● The sole solar choice for most renters in Florida is to participate in a utility owned solar project.
● If renters in Florida would be able to offset their real estate costs and the installation costs for their solar PV systems through guaranteed revenue, they would become owners and not remain renters.
GismoPower™ is a transformative and enabling technology where rooftop and ground-mount solar do not fit. GismoPower integrates the functionality of a portable canopy on wheels, a high-power bifacial solar PV system and a powerful Class 2 EV-Charger. (US-Utility Patent App. 17326687, filed by Central Coast Patent Inc. Watsonville/CA).
Until now, residential solar system owners had to choose between two photovoltaic deployment methods: Ground mounted structures, which require large tracts of single-use real estate, and “Rooftop”, requiring costly, custom-engineered installations with onerous permitting procedures.
No dedicated single-use real estate area is needed for GismoPower. Fitting neither existing category, GismoPower can be wheeled into garages and barns during adverse weather conditions. This mobile racking system will open the solar PV market to renters and people on the move.
Solar installation companies can increase productivity by deploying several standardized GismoPower systems per day via flatbed trailer, instead of getting caught in unexpected complications during tricky customized rooftop installations which sometimes require dangerous, acrobatic efforts at elevated heights.
The secret sauce to GismoPower is its “Solar On Wheels™.” Heavy-duty caster wheels allow the individual racks to be elevated and wheeled around without major effort. The Inverter/EV-Charger can either be mounted to a close by wall or fixed to its own portable cart using an extension cord. Bad weather ahead? Simply lower the side panels and wheel it into the garage. The car still fits underneath.
The metal racks can optionally be anchored and bolted on asphalt or concrete surfaces. The solar panels pivot up when deployed, and are folded down when the unit is wheeled into a garage or shelter. Florida is notorious for its hurricanes, but look at what just happened with hurricanes in New York & Connecticut and other high wind events in the rest of the nation. GismoPower will give its owners a chance to “unplug and store” beforehand, instead of “install and pray” during storm events.
GismoPower includes solar panel racks, solar panels and UL-1741 certified electronics which conform to the latest distributed generation rapid shutdown safety standards. Customers can choose to assemble the system components themselves, or employ an established solar installer company or a licensed electrician.
Unlike with roof-top solar systems or fixed solar carports, GismoPower allows convenient access to panels, module-based electronic components and wiring for trouble-shooting, maintenance and upgrades. A detailed assembly manual will be provided.
According to a new report from the HTW Berlin – University of Applied Sciences, and German consumer association Verbraucherzentrale NRW, more than 190,000 plug-in solar devices have been installed in Germany in recent years. In 2020 and 2021 alone, up to 128,000 of these photovoltaic systems, with a total output of up to 51MW, were added.
Der Markt für Steckersolargeräte, HTW Berlin, 2022
Quo Vadis Steckersolar, B. Preaetorius, R. Hoelger, 2021
The first GismoPower prototype system contains 24 bifacial 375W Solar Panels and can deliver about 14,410KWh per year in SW-Florida. This means that one GismoPower system is powerful enough to generate the entire yearly electricity consumption of an average household in the Southern United States
One of GismoPower’s primary design goals is to create technology which pays for itself quickly, so the team has avoided costly battery backup technology for now. The present electric system was intentionally designed to operate “grid-tied,'' but it is of course possible to combine a GismoPower version with different electronic components to operate "off-grid," and this concept can be pursued in the future, funds permitting. The team understands that a version equipped with battery backup and V2X technologies would be especially helpful for disaster response or in remote locations without reliable electric grid connection.
On January 13th 2022, the Florida Solar Energy Center approved the FSEC 203-17 certification for the portable and unmounted 4.12KW GismoPower device.
For well over a decade, the Sarasota County Department of Planning & Development Services has continued to be embroiled in corruption and misconduct scandals, involving former Building Officials Kathy Croteau and Greg Yantorno as well as a former code enforcement officer.
Disregarding our state-wide FSEC 203-17 certification, the Sarasota County Building Official unreasonably withholds our photovoltaic permit application.
- Nov 12th 2021 Electrical Review: APPROVED
Pursuant to Florida Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act (“FLUEDRA”) we filed a petition against unreasonably withholding Solar Photovoltaic Permit Application 21 177673 00 BI.
On May 12th 2022 the Sarasota County Building Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals BCBAA upheld the Building Officials decision:
* February 9th 2022:
* October 19th 2022
The Sarasota County Department of Planning and Development Services has committed to schedule a public FLUEDRA hearing chaired by Special Magistrate Mr Kenneth Tinkler Esq. The official hearing notice will be available here as soon as Sarasota County publishes the official announcement.
Florida Statute 163.04
Energy devices based on renewable resources.
(1) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter or other provision of general or special law, the adoption of an ordinance by a governing body, as those terms are defined in this chapter, which prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting the installation of solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources is expressly prohibited.
(2) A deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or similar binding agreement may not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources from being installed on buildings erected on the lots or parcels covered by the deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or binding agreement. A property owner may not be denied permission to install solar collectors or other energy devices by any entity granted the power or right in any deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or similar binding agreement to approve, forbid, control, or direct alteration of property with respect to residential dwellings and within the boundaries of a condominium unit. [..]
Tesla Roofs, which sell for $63K-$96K, certainly won’t get Power to the People. But even a standard rooftop solar system is considerably more expensive than a comparable GismoPower system; When combined with an EV-charger and a canopy or carport, the cost advantage almost doubles:
Average installation cost without taxes and incentives:
Carport (homeadvisor.com) $ 6,395
EV-Charger $ 3,000
Rooftop Solar System 9KW
$2.71/Watt (NREL 2021) $ 24,390
COMBINED TOTAL $ 33,785
TOTAL $ 18,746
According to the narrative promoted by the NRDC and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, around half of California's solar adopters are in the highest 20 percent of earners, while only 4 percent come from the lowest 20 percent. Substantially lowering costs for residential solar systems is a primary prerequisite to improving access to renewable solar power generation technologies for financially disadvantaged communities. GismoPower is a disruptive concept which has the potential to place significant solar generating power in the hands of lower and moderate income (LMI) prosumers, creating a seismic shift in demand-side, distributed solar energy generation.
A 2016 study by NREL identified 8,130 million square meters of suitable rooftop area for PV installations in the continental U.S, amounting to 2,008,966 acres, which could potentially supply up to 14.8% of the entire U.S. electric power consumption.
According to the UC Berkeley's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, there are about 3.4 parking spaces in the USA for each car, and many well-cited and informed guesstimates say there may be as many as 8 outdoor parking spaces per car. With about 250,000,000 cars in the US, and the assumption that only 2 parking spaces with 180 sqft per car would be suitable for solar installations, one arrives at a photovoltaic parking area potential of ~ 2,066,115 acres.
Using different data sources, one arrives at similar metrics for parking-space solar potential. As of September 2020, there were 213,300,000 single-family dwellings in the United States and 38,000,000 multifamily units. If 2 outdoor parking spaces with 180 sqft per housing unit were covered with solar panels, one could cover approximately 2,076,859 acres with solar panels.
Both estimation methods would arrive at slightly larger solar potential than the solar rooftop potential determined by NREL in 2016.
Without counting any commercial or institutional parking areas, the above numbers lead to the conclusion that driveways and parking spaces offer an underexploited solar generation potential, combined with an underserved market potential of ~250,000,000 suitable private residences x $18000 = $ 4,500,000,000,000.
According to Bill Nussey's book "Freeing Energy," The US has 3,797,000 square miles of land total, so only 0.5% of the total land mass would be needed to power the entire nation with solar energy. However, according to SEIA.org, the “Sunshine State” Florida covers an anemic 4.04% of the total electricity generation with renewable resources in Q4 2021, which includes large utility scale solar farms owned by corporations like FPL and Duke.
The passion for solar energy runs in the family. Our home has 66 rooftop photovoltaic solar panels and we officially run our entire home including all our EV's on solar electricity since 2017.
Florida Power & Light enforces unfavorable policies which limit privately owned solar system installations to 115% of PAST usage and requires a system generating more than a theoretical maximum of 10KW to pay for an extraneous, unjustified liability insurance.
In 2019, the Gismo team made an attempt to fix this issue by filing a petition with the Florida Public Service Commission against Florida Power and Light (FPL) who disincentivizes powerful residential solar systems and appealed the FPSC's denial of the petition.
In 2020, we intervened before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in support of net-metering and just monetary compensation for generated solar electricity.