tampabay.com

A Sunshine City first

By DIRK SHADD
Published May 28, 2007


ST. PETERSBURG

Here in the Sunshine City, midway down the coast of the Sunshine State, sunlight is part and parcel of everyday life. But Sunday, the city took an important first step when Peter Belmont flipped the switch on the first residentially permitted solar electric system in the city. On top of his townhouse, Belmont has a dozen 3-foot by 5-foot panels that will turn sunlight into electricity - about 2 kilowatts a day. He said the system cost $20, 000 to install, but he recouped about half of it from government credits and rebates. For much of the day, his house will actually be putting power back on the grid. City Councilman Jeff Danner attended the event and discussed ways to make the city more solar friendly.