Live in Central Miami-Dade and want to go solar?

Have you considered installing solar panels on your home, but concerned about the upfront costs? Here’s an idea: solar co-ops. Florida Solar United Neighborhoods (FLSUN) is helping homeowners throughout the state form community solar cooperatives to benefit from bulk purchase discounts for solar panels.

Neighbors across the Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, City of Miami west to the Palmetto have joined together to form the Central Miami (North) Solar Co-op with the help of FL SUN to make it easier to save money on the purchase of solar panels, while building a community of local solar supporters. Join us for an information session in Miami to learn about solar energy, as well as how the Central Miami (North) Solar Co-op simplifies the process of going solar while providing a discount through its bulk purchasing power.

The Central Miami (North) co-op coverage area is from Bird Road (SW 40the Street) to NW 70th Street, and from the Palmetto Expressway east to the Biscayne Bay, and includes all of Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, and the City of Miami. There will be three information sessions held for the Central Miami North Solar Co-op:

May 31, 7 p.m.
City of Miami City Hall
3500 Pan American Drive
Miami, FL 33133
RSVP here

June 6, 7 p.m.
Key Biscayne Community Center, 2nd floor
10 Village Green Way
Key Biscayne, FL 33149
RSVP here

August 15, 7 p.m.
Coral Gables Adult Center
2 Andalusia Avenue
Coral Gables, FL 33134
RSVP here

As John Morales notes in the video above, there are solar co-ops are forming or already operating throughout Miami-Dade and other counties in Florida. If you are not located within the boundaries of the Central Miami (North) Solar Co-Op, FLSUN’s webpage has a list of the other solar co-ops.

The co-op is sponsored by the League of Women Voters Miami-Dade County, Green Corridor (Ygrene), Tropical Audubon Society, Earth Ethics Institute, Miami Dade College, Rise up Florida!, Resilient Miami, Urban Impact Lab, Unitarian Universalists Congregation of Miami, Sustainable Miami, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, The Cleo Institute, Commissioner Ken Russell’s Office, and FL SUN.

Solar panels as inexpensive and as easily applied as paint?

Qiaoqiang Gan, University at Buffalo assistant professor of electrical engineering. Photo courtesy of University at Buffalo
Qiaoqiang Gan, University at Buffalo assistant professor of electrical engineering. Photo courtesy of University at Buffalo

According to a press release from EurekaAlert, researchers at the University at Buffalo are one of several teams working on photovoltaic cells that “could one day be applied to surfaces as easily as paint is to walls.”

“Most Americans want the U.S. to place more emphasis on developing solar power, recent polls suggest. A major impediment, however, is the cost to manufacture, install and maintain solar panels. Simply put, most people and businesses cannot afford to place them on their rooftops. Fortunately, that is changing because researchers such as Qiaoqiang Gan, University at Buffalo assistant professor of electrical engineering, are helping develop a new generation of photovoltaic cells that produce more power and cost less to manufacture than what’s available today. One of the more promising efforts, which Gan is working on, involves the use of plasmonic-enhanced organic photovoltaic materials. These devices don’t match traditional solar cells in terms of energy production but they are less expensive and – because they are made (or processed) in liquid form – can be applied to a greater variety of surfaces.”

Solar roofing tiles, solar glass, “peel and stick” solar panels, and soon – if Qiaogiang Gan is successful – “paint on” solar panels… all leading to my idea of a truly integrated “green” building.


EurekAlert! is an online, global news service operated by The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Melanie Dawn Molina Wood is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate LLC in Miami, Florida. She is an Eco-Associate and is currently working on her LEED Green Associate’s accreditation.