SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Clean Energy Advocates, Conservative Groups, and Businesses Propose Policies to Unlock Florida’s Solar Market
Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, 865.235.1448, Jennifer@cleanenergy.org
NOTE: SACE published a detailed blog on our comments urging for stronger policies to expand solar development in Florida on June 23 which is found here.
Tallahassee, Fla., (June 23, 2015) – Today, a diverse range of groups, including clean energy advocate the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), conservative groups, businesses, and individuals filed comments in response to the Florida Public Service Commission’s Request for Comments on solar policies for the Sunshine State.
Florida has tremendous potential to deploy this clean renewable energy source – the state ranks 3rd nationally in rooftop solar potential, and has the best solar resource east of the Mississippi – but has consistently failed to live up to its moniker of the Sunshine State. Florida currently has only 6,000 roof top solar systems – while states like New Jersey have over 30,000 with half the population and less sun.
Today the state has only 239 megawatts (MW) of solar installed, with an additional 383 MW of utility-scale solar planned over the next three years. This leaves Florida trailing far behind neighboring states Georgia and North Carolina, both of which plan to install almost three times as much solar during the same period. Florida can do better.
SACE recommends a number of policies that allow both rooftop solar and large “utility-scale” solar arrays to come online – focused on removing barriers, and added transparency and competition. A key recommendation in SACE’s comments is to maintain and strengthen Florida’s net metering policy, which is the cornerstone of the state’s renewable energy policy for customer-sited solar. In addition, we recommend the Commission establish standard contract terms for small utility-scale projects under 5 MW, as well as a demonstration program authorizing the power companies to issue a competitive solicitation for solar power projects between 5 and 20 MW in size.
SACE believes there is a significant and growing opportunity to allow solar to compete and develop in Florida. Done right, the state can come to the forefront of this industry where it belongs, and the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) can play an important role in removing barriers, and providing for more competition. We hope The Commission will carefully consider the proposals submitted by SACE and the other groups and businesses and individuals that seek to unlock the Florida solar market.
About Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that work to address the impacts of Global Climate Change and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org