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By Nikki Cabus

Pavilion Solar Emerges as a Semifinalist in the American-Made Solar Prize contest taking home $50k

Read Time 3 Minutes

Pavilion Solar, a Miami-based innovator in solar technology, has been named a semifinalist in Round 7 of the American-Made Solar Prize.

Miami-based Pavilion Solar is a startup dedicated to increasing solar adoption with their flagship product, the EnPodTM, a premium solar canopy structure for homes which serves as a carport or outdoor living area. Made in the USA and engineered for hurricane zones, it features an iconic design and innovative construction for rapid installation. The EnPods are eligible for the federal solar tax credit and engineered to last decades while paying for themselves.

The American-Made Solar Prize is a multimillion-dollar prize competition designed to energize U.S. solar innovation through a series of contests that accelerate the entrepreneurial process from years to months.

Competitors leverage the American-Made Network, an innovation engine of more than 450 organizations, including world-class experts at DOE’s 17 national labs, clean tech accelerators, incubators, universities, facilities, and more. The Solar Prize is directed and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.

This competition was announced on January 24, 2018 and is backed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and overseen by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), supports cutting-edge advancements in solar energy. Entrepreneurial individuals and teams based in the United States can compete, progressing through a series of three connected contests—the Ready!, Set!, and Go!

On June 12, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) opened applications for the American-Made Solar Prize Round 7. For Round 7, DOE added a new Power Up Contest to support and advance new and diverse teams that have compelling applications but are not selected as Ready! Contest winners.  On January 11, 2024, 20 teams were selected to receive $50,000 each and advance to the next stage of the competition. Four teams were also selected to win the JEDI Contest and receive an additional $25,000. DOE awarded $10,000 prizes to 10 teams through the Power Up Contest.

Pavilion Solar was among 20 teams to progress, securing a $50,000 cash prize and the opportunity to compete in the subsequent phases of this multimillion-dollar challenge.

“Research from DOE shows that half of U.S. homes are ineligible for rooftop solar, many of which are located in hurricane zones,” said Aleksandr Bernhard, Founder of Pavilion Solar.

“Our EnPods will address this significant yet underserved market, expanding solar access. The funding from the American-Made Solar Prize is crucial in accelerating our launch into this market.”

In the next phase of the competition, teams will advance with the assistance of members of the American-Made Network to develop their innovations in a way that addresses real challenges in the solar market. Pavilion Solar will continue working to substantially advance their technology solution, which they will present to a panel of industry experts at a virtual event in spring 2024.

Visit the American-Made Solar Prize website for details on the competition.

By Nikki Cabus

FPL announces completion of Florida’s first ever clean hydrogen hub of its kind

Read Time 5 Minutes

Earlier this month, Florida Power & Light announced the completion of its clean hydrogen hub, the Cavendish NextGen Hydrogen Hub.

The Cavendish NextGen Hdrogen Hub is FPL’s pilot clean hydrogen facility located in Okeechobee County, Florida and the first clean hydrogen plant of its kind in the Sunshine State. This important pilot project will allow FPL to learn more about clean fuels and their potential benefits to customers.

As America’s largest electric utility, Florida Power & Light serves more customers and sells more power than any other utility, providing clean, affordable, reliable electricity to approximately 5.9 million accounts, or more than 12 million people. FPL operates one of the most fuel efficient and cleanest power generation fleets in the U.S. and in 2022 won the ReliabilityOne® National Reliability Award for the seventh time in the last eight years. The company was also recognized by Escalent in 2022 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities for the ninth consecutive year.

FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, corporate responsibility, ethics and compliance, and diversity. NextEra Energy is ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune’s 2023 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies” and recognized on Fortune’s 2021 list of companies that “Change the World.” NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage.

“Today marks another important step forward as we further our commitment to fostering a clean and cost-effective energy future that benefits our customers and Florida, ” said Armando Pimentel, FPL President and CEO.

The $65 million facility broke ground in December 2022, and just over a year later this “green energy” facility aims to significantly reduces carbon emissions while producing energy. FPL’s Cavendish NextGen Hydrogen Hub will help the company explore using clean hydrogen to offset the use of natural gas to run a traditional power plant. Built with state-of-the-art technology, the hydrogen hub pilot project draws from Florida’s most abundant natural resources – water and solar – to produce clean hydrogen.

The hydrogen hub draws solar power from a nearby FPL site. A portion of clean energy flows directly to the energy grid, while the rest powers hydrogen production equipment called electrolyzers. The hydrogen is then compressed, stored and blended with natural gas. For this project, a 5% blend of hydrogen will be tested in one of the three natural gas combustion turbines on site. Blending 5% hydrogen with natural gas will allow the company to learn more about clean hydrogen and explore ways to provide low-cost, clean energy to FPL’s customers.

“Hydrogen is a ‘no brainer’ for Florida,” said Dr. Arif Sarwat, Eminent Scholar Chair Professor at Florida International University and Director of the FPL-FIU solar facility. “As the most abundant element on earth it can be stored as an energy source that can be used whether or not the sun is shining.”

As the FPL Cavendish Solar Energy Center operates, a portion of solar energy will flow directly to the grid to serve customers, while the rest will go to power hydrogen production equipment, including a series of electrolyzers. Each electrolyzer splits water into its two basic elements: hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is released harmlessly into the air, while the hydrogen will be compressed, stored and blended with natural gas, and used as fuel to produce electricity that will provide affordable and clean energy for FPL customers across the grid.

“We’ve been on a journey to cleaner and more cost-effective fuels, moving from oil to natural gas and now we’re exploring how to move from natural gas to carbon-free,” Stevany Cole, Director of Development at FPL, said, referring to FPL’s power plant modernizations over the last two decades which have effectively slashed air emissions and saved customers billions of dollars in avoided fuel costs.

Eight years ago, Cole transitioned from working at a papermill harvesting trees for consumer products to helping build a more resilient and cost-effective grid with FPL. Cole is proud to be part of something greater than herself.

“It’s always interesting looking back on where I started my career to now being here, making history in Florida. Eventually my generation will be gone. Then, my children will be the ones left with their own kids,” she said. “I can only hope to leave the planet a better place for them.”

“What we discover could eventually help us hedge against the volatility and cost of fuel,” said Tim Oliver, Vice President of Development at FPL. “This is about creating more options for affordable and clean electricity for Florida.”

The FPL Cavendish NextGen Hydrogen Hub will help the company maximize learning opportunities as it continues to pursue its Real Zero goal of decarbonizing its power-generation by 2045 at the latest. Watch the video below to find out how FPL is capturing the sun’s energy with millions of solar panels and advancing a first-of-its-kind clean hydrogen project to help stabilize energy costs, eliminate carbon emissions and make Florida energy independent.

By Nikki Cabus

ADT Officially Exits Residential Solar Business

Read Time 4 Minutes

Boca Raton-based ADT Inc. (NYSE: ADT) announced it will be exiting its residential solar business.

The Company will remain focused on cash flow generation and capital-efficient growth within its core security and smart home business. As part of this continued focus, ADT is also advancing its capital allocation strategy, including a cash dividend increase and authorization of a new share repurchase program.

ADT is the most trusted brand in smart home and small business security providing safe, smart and sustainable solutions for people, homes and small businesses. Through innovative offerings, unrivaled safety and a premium customer experience, all delivered by the largest network of smart home security professionals in the U.S., the company empowers people to protect and connect to what matters most. For more information, visit

“The decision to exit solar operations was made after careful deliberation, and we expect this strategic action to drive substantial operational and financial benefits to ADT,” said ADT Chairman, President and CEO, Jim DeVries. “We want to acknowledge and thank our employees, partners, and customers as we work through this transition.”

Solar Business Update

Over the first nine months of 2023, ADT’s core business exhibited strong performance, while the solar business faced challenges, including operational difficulties and macroeconomic headwinds causing deterioration of conditions industrywide. As a result of these challenges, the Solar segment generated an Adjusted EBITDA loss of $89 million during this period. Following the previously announced restructuring of its solar footprint and a detailed strategic review, ADT’s Board of Directors has approved the exit of this segment, which may include the transfer of components of the business to other parties.

The Company expects to incur certain one-time exit charges and cash expenditures with potential offsets from asset sales or reduced tax expenses. As previously disclosed, as of September 30, 2023, the goodwill balance for the Solar reporting unit was zero. At this time, the Company is still analyzing the estimated net amount or range of amounts expected to be incurred in connection with this plan.

Strong Cash Flowing Core Business Propelling Capital Allocation Update

Supported by ADT’s confidence in the strong cash flow generation of its core business, today the Company is also announcing the following:

  • Dividend Increase – The Company’s Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.055 per share, payable on April 4, 2024, to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 14, 2024. The quarterly dividend represents a 57% increase over the previous quarterly dividend.
  • Share Repurchase Authorization – The Company’s Board of Directors has authorized a $350 million share repurchase program. As the Company executes share repurchases, the Board will periodically review the remaining authorization as part of its capital allocation strategy.
  • Balance Sheet Fortification – Consistent with the plan from its third quarter earnings announcement, on December 29, 2023, the Company repaid $500 million of First Lien Senior Secured Notes due 2024, completing an overall 2023 reduction of ADT’s total debt by approximately $2 billion. Further, following two corporate rating upgrades in 2023, the Company improved borrowing costs and extended debt maturities and in 2024, will have only $150 million of maturities and amortization payments. The Company remains focused on achieving its targeted net leverage ratio of less than 3.0x.
  • Core Investment – On December 20, 2023, the Company closed on a strategic bulk purchase of approximately 57,000 customer accounts for $89 million cash with attractive returns. This portfolio of customers is concentrated in a few key geographies, all of which align with existing platforms, enabling strong economies of scale upon integration. This transaction was not included in prior cash flow guidance.

Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2023 Earnings Conference Call

More details and an update on the business will be provided when the Company releases its fourth quarter and full year 2023 results on February 28, 2024. Following the release, management will host a conference call at 10 a.m. ET to discuss the financial results and lead a question-and-answer session.

Participants may listen to a live webcast through the investor relations website at A replay of the webcast will be available on the website within 24 hours of the live event. Alternatively, participants may listen to the live call by dialing 1-404-975-4839 (domestic) or 1-833-470-1428 (international) and providing the access code 533961. An audio replay will be available for two weeks following the call and can be accessed by dialing 1-866-813-9403 (domestic) or 1-929-458-6194 (international) and providing the access code 375946.

Pavilion Solar Emerges as a Semifinalist in the American-Made Solar Prize contest taking home $50k
FPL announces completion of Florida’s first ever clean hydrogen hub of its kind
ADT Officially Exits Residential Solar Business