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Press Release

Rep. Castor Announces $300K Federal Grant to Grow Solar Jobs as fate of Florida’s Anti-Solar bill awaits Gov. DeSantis

Anti-solar bill that passed the Florida legislature would make it more expensive for Florida families and businesses to tap solar energy in the Sunshine State

Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) announced a $300K community priority grant for the Urban League of Hillsborough County’s Hands Up Program to support workforce training and paid apprenticeship programs, including in solar installation. This announcement comes as the anti-solar bill that passed the Florida Legislature awaits its fate before Gov. DeSantis. The anti-solar bill would make it more expensive for Florida families and businesses to install solar and will be sent to the governor soon for signature or veto.

Video of Rep. Castor’s announcement can be found here. She was joined by Urban League representative Stanley Gray, Tampa Bay Solar President, Steve Rutherford, and a Tampa Bay Solar Installer Juan Gonzalez Soto.

“The good news is that the cost of solar has dropped here in Florida and across the country, and the students who will be trained through this community initiative will increase access for Tampa Bay families and small businesses to this abundant, renewable resource. All of our neighbors should have the freedom to access to affordable solar power, yet the Florida Legislature passed legislation written by electric utility monopolies that would make solar power less affordable and jeopardize over 40,000 jobs in our state.

“Solar power is a cost-saver for Floridians and generates almost $3.2 billion in household income across the “Sunshine State." State legislators should not be in the business of harming job growth and making it harder for homeowners and small businesses to install rooftop solar, and I urge the Governor to veto this legislation. In 2021, the U.S. set a record for clean energy deployment with solar and wind resources – enough to power 10 million homes.

“I am grateful for the work of the Urban League to connect our neighbors with good-paying, family-sustaining jobs and apprenticeships in fields of the future, like solar installation. As we train the clean energy workforce, we can put money back into our neighbors’ pockets and ensure the air we breathe is clean and safe for us and future generations. We are going to create jobs, lower electric bills, increase resiliency and do it through the widespread adoption of clean, abundant solar power.”

Rep. Castor has led the Florida Congressional Delegation in urging the Florida Legislature and Governor DeSantis to strike down legislation that will harm solar growth in the Sunshine State.