Solar PPA price revealed in unredacted contracts

Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Newly-released unredacted contracts between Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) and FL Solar 6, LLC (Origis) reveal that the price increased from $31.52/MWh when the original contract was signed in July 2020 to $40.56/MWh, a 29% increase in price.

The original contract required Origis to build a 50 MW solar facility and required GRU to buy all of the generated electricity at $31.52/MWh. The dollar amount of the contract quantity of net energy delivery in the first year of operation was $3.7 million.

The first amendment to the contract, signed in March 2022, extended all of the deadlines in the original contract after the Alachua County Commission refused to approve a special zoning exception for the solar facility.

The second amendment to the contract, which was approved in February after a new site was selected and then paused in March for six weeks after the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) questioned the redactions in the contract that hid the pricing from the public, increased the capacity of the facility from 50 MW to 74.9 MW and increased the price to $40.56/MWh. The dollar amount of the contract quantity of net energy delivery in the first year of operation under the second amendment to the contract is $6.9 million.

GRU General Manager Tony Cunningham told the JLAC in February that natural gas generation costs $35-$40/MWh.

Ed Bielarski told the Alachua Chronicle, “In the name of equity and social justice, the county commission stopped a solar farm from being built on a former commercial tree farm. The cost for that decision will be to add another 30% to the cost of the solar energy being generated one to two miles away from that site. Bottom line: GRU customers will have to pay $3 million more a year for that decision – which hurts the most economically disadvantaged customers of the utility. So much for social justice.”

The Gainesville City Commission will discuss approving the second amendment to the contract in the afternoon portion of their April 20 meeting.

  • Deja Vu. The City Commission is hellbent on getting us into another bad deal paying more than the market rate for power we don’t need.

    • Trying to keep it secret just like they did with the biomass contracts.

  • So if I understand correctly, the renewable energy will actually cost more than the current source of energy.

    The “Net Zero” BS they keep feeding everyone isn’t going to reduce energy costs, it will increase the costs to the customers.

    You liberal knuckleheads, you’re all mushrooms and you’re quite happy being one.

    • Life is complex. We’re paying through the nose for homeowners insurance due to risks from climate change… we’re gonna pay one way or the other.
      Environmental Externalities in Electric Power Markets: Acid Rain, Urban Ozone, and Climate Change

      Electric power plants that burn fossil fuels emit several pollutants linked to the environmental problems of acid rain, urban ozone, and the possibility of global climate change. Damages caused by those emissions are viewed by many economists as “externalities” and an inefficiency of the market when electric power rates do not reflect, nor ratepayers directly pay, the associated social costs.

  • And everyone thought Solar Energy was cheaper. Keep believing in the magic and drinking the Kool Aid. The state of Florida needs to step in NOW.

  • There was this great law enacted in the seventies….called the “Sunshine Law”. The public’s interests were to be kept….public.

  • Can someone refresh my memory or educate me….doesn’t the city already have a solar farm on 53rd Street (near the Animal Services)? Is so, why the need for another? What’s wrong with that one?

    • That one doesn’t meet the needs of the community.

      Neither do the levels of common sense or the IQs of current leadership.

    • There’s a few 1 MW ground based systems around town that were part of the Feed In Tariff scam. A 75 MW system requires around 600 acres of land.

  • WTF of course after the city comm. voted for “100% renewable by 2045” that in turn gave the solar lobby carte blanche!
    The state must intervene like they are with Reedy Creek.

  • This “agreement” is taking the exact same path as that of the wood burner. Starts out high with a small commitment, then soars to an outrageous level and they add another 50% commitment to it. Of course they have to keep it secret from the People, because they might not tolerate such chicanery from the politicians. BAD for all of our Gainesville and county citizens.

  • Send these mask wearing, middle finger pointing, job threatening, phony’s packing.
    Governor DeSantis needs to clear out the commission.

  • I guess all the commenters here missed the part in the article that says nat gas generation costs basically the same. The solar installation is a very smart move as anyone who knows anything has seen how volatile energy prices controlled by Russia and OPEC can be. Stop listening to Fox News and Desantis and actually learn some facts and think for yourself.

    • Fortunate for you the fuel sources being utilized by GRU aren’t provided by OPEC or Russia.
      How’s that for thinking for myself…did it while I was standing up too.

      Since you mentioned the costs involved. How much as your bill gone down since the BioFiasco was brought on line? I don’t know of anyone’s who has. Trees have to be burned, (which means they generally have been cut down), to provide that source. Pretty hypocritical don’t you think? We have to kill trees, (which provide oxygen by the way), to provide an energy source that needs a biological source to sustain the energy output to charge a battery. That makes a whole lot of sense.

      You may want to stop believing everything emanating from City Hall or at least convince them that nuclear is the way to go.

      • You have no clue what you’re talking about. And yes, GRU like ALL utilities is beholden to the global energy market. Nothing I am saying has anything to do with what City Hall is saying. It has to do with math. Read the article again and you will see that they are fixing a price for energy for a very long time vs staying with natural gas generation that can spike when things go south as it did in Ukraine recently. Nat gas was trading at $2 prior then it more than quadrupled to over $9. It is now back down but anything can happen and spike it up again. Solar doesn’t have exposure to that same volatility and geopolitical risk. And it creates jobs right here. Learn facts not opinions and stop listening to a bunch of lying idiots on the internet and Fox News.

        • City Hall has a lot to do with what you’re trying to say since they are the ones implementing the idea.

          Speaking of clues…We do not import natural gas or coal from Russia.
          At least you’re a candidate for one of those employment opportunities if they need someone to blow the clouds away. You may need a battery powered fan though.

          • Natural gas and any other commodity is based on the global price. If it goes up anywhere it will affect it here. Please stop spreading misinformation and continuing narratives that are not real. You don’t help this country when you do that. You only hurt it and perpetuate the serious problem of misinformation and lies that people believe. ALL utilities raised prices during the last year. ALL of them. Not just GRU. That is because of what I am explaining here. Duke Energy is currently charging HIGHER residential rates than GRU and they are the LARGEST utility in the country. Please learn real facts before spewing things on the internet.

          • Please tell me where I spread misinformation in my comment.
            It’s people such as yourself and your progressive ideologies that are causing harm to this country.

            The BioFiasco was supposed to lower utility rates. That’s not misinformation or disinformation – that’s what many were led to believe.

            You should embrace the truth instead of denying it.

        • GRU was offered a locked in Natural Gas rate for over 20 years, renewable at less than the going rate and Queen of Haterahan and the Biomass 8 told Infinite Energy NO. Trying to discourage the Tree Killer Tower of Toxicity. How did that work out for Ya?

        • Spoken like a true left winger I trust a Fox News article over anything any elected official in Gainesville or Alachua says the woke movement is strong however I have a strong feeling when the state takes over GRU in October their will not be a solar farm

    • The price of natural gas fluctuates. I’m interested in the high and low cost over the past 5 years. I don’t know if the GM is using today’s higher cost or the lower cost in prior years as a comparison.

    • Get your boy Lets Go Brandon out of office and Natural Gas will be back where it should be. It is still at least 10-20 percent less in most area’s , of course not Gainesville. 87 octane gas $3.75 and $3.19 in Trenton , Hmm.

  • So what’s the backup plan if a hurricane or tropical storm comes through one of these solar farms and destroys it?

    • After GRU gets powers lines fixed which in the past with tropical storms it took a while and that’s with every power company. I guess if the solar field is down they would have to go back to coal and tree burning till they fix it. You make a good point. No one ever really thinks about it until it happens.. People naturally expect the power to stay on no matter what.

    • The back up plan for all liberal ideas is for you & I to bend over and take it like we always do.

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