FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED
Velocity Solar is here to serve the commercial and residential solar panel needs of the Clearwater area. Velocity Solar takes pride that we are family owned business that provides quality solar system installation.
Velocity Solar always puts the customer first. We have earned a premier reputation by tailoring solar systems to specifically fit each customer’s needs. Help us save the world, one panel at a time.
Clearwater Residential Solar Panels
Money into your pocket starting day one… The savings are immediate and last a lifetime… Satisfaction you are no longer a victim of rising energy costs… Pride that your family is part of the sustainability solution… Clearwater area residential solar panels help the environment…Thinking of your family’s future… Reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuel… Put the power of the sun to work for you… The money you save by taking the solar leap will help the USA grow American jobs….Help us save the world, one panel at a time.
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Clearwater Florida Solar Panel Benefits
It’s long been known that renewable energy is the way of the future. As the supply of fossil fuels dwindles and faces increased scrutiny for pollution, climate change, and health issues, the cost continues to rise. Many local utilities have already begun to use alternative, renewable energy sources including wind, water, and solar power, but you don’t have to wait for your utility company to get on board: solar power is ready and available to home owners today — and there’s practically no end to the list of benefits.
Solar power makes it possible for Clearwater home owners to use the sun to power everyday life: running your air conditioner, washing clothing, watching TV, cooking dinner. All while reducing your carbon footprint, and without burning fossil fuels or putting a strain on the electrical grid. And while the environmental benefits of solar power are significant, many home owners find that the convenience, unique features, and cost savings of owning a solar power system are even more enticing.
Want to know about the details and benefits of solar powered energy systems for your Clearwater home? We’ll explain how solar powered homes work, factors that make your home a good candidate, environmental benefits, financial benefits, unique features, and much more. Read on to find out why a home solar power system may be a great investment for your home and lifestyle.
Clearwater Florida Solar Energy Rebates and Tax Credits
Florida, the Sunshine State, has tremendous solar potential. But, so far, the state isn’t living up to that potential. While Clearwater Florida has the third best physical and geographic conditions in the country for solar, it’s policies hold it down at 17th for installed solar capacity.
Florida does not have a renewable energy portfolio standard, which drives utility investment in other states. Additionally, state policy prohibits third-party owned systems. That means the solar leasing and power purchase agreements that have made solar boom among homeowners who can’t afford to buy solar systems outright in other states aren’t contributing to industry growth in Florida.
However, Clearwater Florida does offer some solar power financial incentives. Florida Power and Light offers a solar rebate and all of the utilities governed by the state utilities commission offer net metering. Under the law they must credit customers for net excess generation in a month. If, over a 12-month period, they generate more power than they use, the utility must pay them.
Purchasers of solar energy systems in Clearwater used in place of conventional energy systems are exempt from paying state sales and use tax. The exemption covers all components used in the system, not just solar panels. The Florida Solar Energy Center lists the components that qualify in a document found here.
Clearwater Solar Panel Installation
Step 1. Fill out the Clearwater solar panel installation form to give us basic information on your home or commercial enterprise, the proposed location for the solar panels, and your contact information.
Step 2. A local Clearwater solar install consultant will call to ask further questions and arrange a visit to your home or business.
Step 3. On-site visit to speak with the home or business owner, assess the location of the solar panel installation. Take measurements and answer specific questions about the solar panel installation.
Step 4. Solar installer will deliver detailed a detailed installation proposal for your Clearwater home or business. Proposal includes all applicable rebates, from the city of Clearwater, state and federal energy tax credits. Contracts signed.
Clearwater Solar Panel Installation Begins
Step 5. A typical solar panel installation takes 1-2 days after the solar panels and equipment arrive. Solar panel installation will usually involve 2-3 Clearwater installers working together to complete the job.
Present-day Clearwater was originally the home of the Tocobaga people. Around 1835, the United States Army began construction of Fort Harrison, named after William Henry Harrison, as an outpost during the Seminole Wars. The fort was located on a bluff overlooking Clearwater Harbor, which later became part of an early 20th-century residential development called Harbor Oaks. University of South Florida archaeologists excavated the site in 1962 after Mark Wyllie discovered an under ground ammunition bunker while planting a tree in his yard.
The area’s population grew after the Federal Armed Occupation Act of 1842 offered 160 acres (0.65 km2) to anyone who would bear arms and cultivate the land. Early settlers included the Stevens, Stevenson and McMullen families, who claimed and farmed large tracts of land. Prior to 1906, the area was known as Clear Water Harbor. The name “Clear Water” is thought to have come from a fresh water spring flowing from near where the City Hall building is located today. There were many other freshwater springs that dotted the bluff, many in the bay or harbor itself.
Originally part of Hillsborough County, the first road joining Clearwater and Tampa was built in 1849, which dramatically reduced the prior day-long commute between the cities.
During the American Civil War, Union gunboats repeatedly raided the city’s supplies, as most of the able-bodied men were away fighting for the Confederate Army. The town began developing in the late nineteenth century, prompted by Peter Demens’ completion of the first passenger railroad line into the city in 1888. Clearwater was incorporated in 1891, with James E. Crane becoming the first mayor. The area’s popularity as a vacation destination grew after railroad magnate Henry B. Plant built a sprawling Victorian resort hotel named Belleview Biltmore just south of Clearwater in 1897.
By the early 1900s, Clearwater’s population had grown to around 400, ballooning to nearly 1,000 in the winter. Clearwater’s oldest existing newspaper, the Clearwater Sun, was first published on March 14, 1914. Clearwater was reincorporated, this time as a city, on May 27, 1915, and was designated the county seat for Pinellas County, which broke from Hillsborough County in 1912. In 1915, a bridge was built across Clearwater Harbor, joining the city with Clearwater Beach to the west. Clearwater Beach, although located on a separate barrier island, belongs to the city of Clearwater and fronts the Gulf of Mexico. A new, much higher bridge now arcs over the bay, replacing the former drawbridge; the connecting road is part of State Road 60 and is called Clearwater Memorial Causeway.
During World War II, Clearwater became a major training base for US troops destined for Europe and the Pacific. Virtually every hotel in the area, including the Belleview Biltmore and the Fort Harrison Hotel, was used as a barracks for new recruits. Vehicle traffic was regularly stopped for companies of soldiers marching through downtown, and nighttime blackouts to confuse potential enemy bombers were common practice. The remote and isolated Dan’s Island, now the highrise-dominated Sand Key, was used as a target by U.S. Army Air Corps fighter-bombers for strafing and bombing practice.
Clearwater Public Art and Design Program
The Clearwater Public Art and Design Program, adopted by City Council in 2005, is funded through a 1% allocation on all city capital improvement projects valued at more than $500,000 and includes a similar, citywide requirement on all private development projects valued in excess of $5,000,000. Eligible private developers have two options to satisfy the Public Art Ordinance: dedicate 1% of the project’s aggregate job value toward the installation of on-site public art; or contribute 0.75% of the project’s aggregate job value to the city’s Public Art Discretionary Fund, to be used to supplement and initiate public art projects throughout the city. The Public Art and Design Program is overseen by a seven-member board, appointed by City Council and composed of local arts supporters and administrators, design professionals and private citizens, Christopher Hubbard is the Public Art Specialist for the city. The program seeks to “enhance Clearwater for those who visit and live within the city and to contribute to a legacy for generations to come” through the commission of unique, public artworks that enhance the city’s diversity, character and heritage.
The Capitol Theatre opened March 21, 1921. It was built by Senator-elect John Stansel Taylor. The theater’s architect was Lester Avery and the contractor was John D. Phillipoff. Avery is known for his architecture in Miami. Philipoff also built the Coachman Building (1916), the Donald Roebling Estate in Belleair (added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979), the old Pinellas County Courthouse(added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992), other historical homes which have been saved, and did work at the Belleview Hotel.
Groundbreaking was December 6, 1920. The “New Capitol Theatre” was damaged in a storm on October 26, 1921 (so it had been completed). A Robert Morton Wicks Opus 415 organ was installed in 1922.
Donald Roebling was a frequent patron, having his own double seat installed at the theatre.
The theatre was managed by various movie companies (EJ Sparks, Paramount, ABC-Southeastern Theatres, and Plitt Southern) and played the most recent movies of the day. The theatre also offered vaudeville on Friday nights in the 1930s. Headliners included Sally Rand, Fred Stone and his daughter, and Lum and Abner (of radio). The theatre was renovated in 1962. The Robert Morton Wicks Opus 415 was most likely removed during this renovation. When Plitt Southern did not renew their contract in 1979, Bill Neville and Jerry Strain tried to save the theatre with film classics and reduced prices. However, the theatre closed its doors on October 28, 1980.
Royalty Theater Company signed leases with the Taylor family in February 1981 when it then became known as the Royalty Theater (Clearwater, Florida). The building was renovated with Ron Winter of Winter Associates as the contractor and Scott Musheff as the architect.
During the renovations, Bill Neville’s murdered body was found in the balcony.
The theatre remained in the Taylor family estate until it was sold in 1996. In July 2008 the building went into foreclosure.
In January 2009, the City of Clearwater and Ruth Eckerd Hall joined forces to purchase the theater (renamed Capitol Theater) as well as the neighboring Pat Lokey building. They plan to renovate and revitalize the historic Capitol Theater.
Clearwater Public Library System
In 1911, the city of Clearwater witnessed a vast population increase as well as acquiring telephones, electricity, paved streets, and an ice factory. It is during this time that the Clearwater Library Association opened a subscription library on the second floor of the local People’s Bank. Its popularity and support led to the request of $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation to build a public library. Support for the building of cultural institutions, the library in particular, had the strong backing of the Clearwater community. A January 8, 1914 editorial in the Clearwater News illustrates the sentiment of the local community towards it’s new library:“Support the Library…One of the finest assets a town can possibly have is a good library…None will help make for a successful and happy community in the future as a good library. Already started is a collection of books, which could be made to serve as a nucleus for a larger and free public library – one owned by the town…(It is) a matter of civic pride. A public library, free to all the home people, ministering to their special wants and needs, is no longer considered a luxury, it is fast becoming a necessity to all progressive communities, and Clearwater should not be behind her sister towns; it can and should become a leader.” This request was approved. The city of Clearwater only had to provide a location and continued maintenance for this facility. In May 1915, a referendum was approved by City Ordinance 154 to provide for the creation and maintenance of a public library. The city of Clearwater’s Mayor and Town Council approved “Clearwater Public Library” and accepted the donation. The building was designed by Tampa architect F.J. Kennard. In its first year, the library had over 1,277 visitors and 2,792 books borrowed. As a vacation town, the library provided free access to materials for all residents and winter visitors.
From the CPL website, “The balance of the Carnegie grant was used for furnishings, screens, and a Remington typewriter. The Women’s Club arranged the dedicatory reception, and the Library Board hosted the festivities on September 14, 1916. Miss Margaret Duncan was appointed Librarian at a salary of $50 per month, with a possible increase during the winter season. Temporary residents, as well as taxpayers, had free use of the Library, providing a merchant signed their card application or a two dollar deposit was made. Miss Duncan was Pinellas County Director for the American Library Association in the United War Campaign during World War I. She spent her vacations enrolled in classes in Library Science and attended professional meetings. She resigned in 1918 to become Head of Children’s Work at Jacksonville Public Library. Her apprentice, Constance Chase, was the only staff member and depended on volunteer help to continue the Children’s Hour. Grace Mease was appointed the new Library Director in 1920. A telephone was installed. 1,246 of 2,427 residents were card members. The Library Board commenced the encouragement and support of the professional development of the library staff. Patrons began a tradition of donations to augment the small book budget. Notices were placed in all the hotels, and winter visitors expanded the ranks of readers. Library administration in 1925 hired additional personnel: two assistants, a part-time employee for the workroom, and a janitor. The Board received petitions for more card files and a heating system. The impact of the Depression on the Clearwater Public Library was similar to the effect on libraries across the nation: less money and more patrons. The budget was cut necessarily and repeatedly. The building, now over 14 years old, needed repairs. When the City Manager turned down the lowest available bid of $40 to fix a damaged ceiling, the Librarian bought the materials and hired laborers to fix it for $13.65. The City Manager reimbursed her. An emergency arose in 1932: faced with a sudden budget cut of $1000, the Board unanimously approved the dismissal of Mease as the most expedient measure. Annie Owen, formerly an assistant, was promoted to Library Director at her same salary”.’
During the Depression, the Clearwater Public Library faced many of the same threats seen at other libraries seen throughout the United States. This includes increased patron usage and dwindling budget.
In the 1940s, the Clearwater library increased its staff from just three assistants to five assistants. The library’s collection also grew from 18,047 to over 100,000. To account for this great increase, the Librarian and Board President Traver Bayly made an appeal to the City Commission for additional space. This appeal was approved and the library extended to include a drive-through, museum, and increased collections.
As a result of segregation, the Clearwater Public Library was for white patrons only from its founding in 1911 to the mid-twentieth century. In 1950, the City Commission agreed to the building of the North Greenwood library. Designed by Architect Eugene Beach, the new library access to many information sources to the city’s African Americans population. This library was renovated in 1984. Clearwater Main library was rebuilt in 2000.
As the population continued to increase throughout the late twentieth century, the library system continued to grow. The Clearwater Public Library System now includes five libraries: Clearwater Main, Countryside, North Greenwood, Beach, and East. In recent years, the Clearwater Public Library System has become increasingly digital providing patrons with access to computers, online databases, and an online library catalog. This was made possible by the Greater Clearwater Public Library Foundation, Inc. which formed in 1984.
The current director of the Clearwater Public Library System is Barbara Pickell. This system of libraries is part of the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative which seeks to provide all patrons with access to information and programs to benefit the community.