Florida just got its largest rooftop solar system ever

Solar contractor SALT Energy has installed a rooftop solar system in Florida that’s now the state’s largest rooftop solar system, as well as its largest privately owned solar project.

The 3.24 megawatt (MW) solar project is installed on the roof of Badia Spices’ 300,000-square-foot factory in Sweetwater, Florida, which is in Miami-Dade County. The project is currently the largest privately owned solar project in Florida.

Miami-based SALT Energy – a subsidiary of Washington, DC-based Salt Service – specializes in installing hurricane-proven solar arrays “in corrosive and high-wind conditions” in Florida and the Caribbean. The Miami-based company used flat roof racks made by PanelClaw and solar panels manufactured by San Jose, California-based SunPower on this project:

David Kaul, vice president of engineering and operations for SALT Energy, said:

The requirement by our customer to avoid roof membrane penetrations for anchoring the array to preserve the warranty, coupled with the hurricane wind load design requirements in Miami-Dade County, posed the two greatest technical challenges for our Badia Spices project.

Badia Spices is a family-owned Hispanic food company that was founded in 1967. The company’s new rooftop solar installation – its second – will offset around 80% of the factory’s electricity usage. In 2019, SALT Energy installed a 529-kW rooftop solar array on Badia Spices’ 100,000-square-foot facility in Doral, Florida. 

Electrek’s Take

All together now: Rooftop solar on big box buildings is an absolute no-brainer. Nice going, Badia family. This is awesome.

The technical challenges Kaul refers to on this project are Floridian in nature. Miami-Dade is a high-velocity hurricane zone, so it rightly has some of the world’s toughest building regulations. Florida insurance requirements are getting tougher, and the factory will want to keep its solar panels secured in high winds.

Read more: Florida’s EV chargers are about to double in number, with 6,000+ on the way

Photo: Badia Spices

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