Weak program does nothing to advance solar in the Sunshine State
Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, 865.235.1448, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tallahassee, Fla.///NEWS STATEMENT///By a 4-to-1 vote, the Florida Public Service Commission today approved a poorly designed Florida Power & Light (FPL) solar power program based on donations that will not meaningfully develop solar power in Florida. The program relies on customer donations of $9 month ($108 year) to build relatively small solar installations in FPL’s service territory. Participating customers receive no direct benefit from their donations. FPL, the state’s biggest electric monopoly, has only committed to constructing a meager 300 kilowatts (kW) of solar power over 3 years through the support of this program.
The Commission approved this program just weeks after Commissioners, Commission staff and utility lawyers demonstrated no interest in engaging a national expert on solar policy design, Karl Rabago, during a witness testimony for Florida’s conservation goal setting proceeding last month. See the video here. During that proceeding, the monopoly power companies called for eliminating the Sunshine State’s popular solar rebate program and dramatically reducing energy efficiency efforts. FPL, for instance, has proposed ending solar rebates and slashing its energy efficiency goals by 98%.
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) is an interested party in the docket associated with FPL’s new program and filed comments prior to its approval. Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of SACE, issued this statement on today’s decision:
“We are disappointed that the Florida Public Service Commission is allowing Florida Power & Light to go forward with a misleading, public relations gimmick masquerading as a solar program offered by the state’s largest utility. FPL and other monopoly utilities in Florida are doing a disservice to customers by attacking policies like net metering that support distributed solar power while they simultaneously propose ineffective programs that do nothing to advance solar energy in the Sunshine State. Florida continues to fall further behind other states in solar development, missing out on the economic development opportunities solar provides while denying customers the most popular electric power resource.”
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org