Florida Solar Shift Blocked by Lobbyists

Posted by Trish Riley, March 27, 2009

Gainesville’s Solar Feed-in-Tariff program advocate Harald Kegelman reports from Tallahassee that the effort to promote the Solar FIT program statewide stalled in the Florida State Legislature on March 24. Harry says that the voices of the state’s large utilities, which are pushing to establish new nuclear power plants in the state, used their lobbyists to influence legislators against solar development.

“The Investor Owned Utilities (FP&L nad Progress) already stepped in and blocked any FIT legislation to reach the floor. Gainesville is too small to be considered a successful project. So we need to convince the other munis to step up and come back next year with the voice of the people even louder.

There are three classes of utilities in Florida: IOUs, munis, and co-ops. The IOUs are regulated by the Public Service Commission and changes in policy for IOUs will be submitted by the PSC to the legislature or the legislature asks the PSC to draft a regulation.

Munis and more so Co-ops are more independent in the type of policies and rates they want to implement. They are either owned by the residents or coop members who support policy decisions.”

Here’s a Tampa Tribune article by Russell Ray with more details.

Harry has been providing updates on the solar FIT program at our Green Drinks meetings – hopefully he’ll bring more info to our next meeting at TiAmo’s, 12 SE 2 Ave., 6-8 p.m.m April 1. See you there!

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