http://www.cleanenergy.org/2016/08/03/august-2016-special-florida-edition/

SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

August 2016 : Special Florida Edition

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4. SACE and partners file federal Clean Water Act lawsuit against FPL for contamination at Turkey Point

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1. August is Crunch Time 4 Solar –YES 4 Solar!

Vote-by-mail ballots are in the mail – early voting is just around the corner!

This month Floridians have the opportunity to expand solar in the Sunshine State through Amendment 4, which would lower solar power costs by removing taxes on solar installations for homes and businesses. If approved by voters, Amendment 4 will exempt solar panels and other renewable energy equipment from two onerous taxes – the real property tax and the tangible property tax – for a period of 20 years.

We know there is broad bipartisan support for Amendment 4. In fact, more than 160 organizations, associations, elected officials, and candidates from across the political spectrum have already endorsed Amendment 4.

If you support solar and want to see it flourish in Florida, don’t sit on the sideline this month! We need your help spreading the word about Amendment 4.

Vote-by-mail ballots are already in the hands of many people across the state and it’s not too late to request one. Just go to FloridaSolarVoter.com. Early voting runs from August 20-27 and the primary itself is August 30. To check voter registration status and polling locations, click here.

This primary is too critical for solar freedom to leave it to chance. Like and share Yes4Solar on Facebook here or through Twitter here. Reach out to family and friends to encourage them to sign up to vote-by-mail. YesOn4 has campaign swag ready to mail to volunteers and online resources to download and print. Get involved today – sign up at YesOn4.org.

 

IMG_27562. Voting in Florida heats up August primary
Non-partisan resources to help make voting easy

During the entire month of August, Floridians will be voting across the Sunshine State. We’ve compiled a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” help you develop a voting plan for August.

Am I registered?
Voting registration has closed for the Aug. 30th primary election but you can confirm your voting status, here.

When do I vote?
In Florida you have three options for voting.

  1. Vote by Mail – Sign up to vote by mail at FloridaSolarVoter.com. This is a great option if you are busy with back to school or travel but still want your vote to count!
  2. Vote Early – Dates and locations for early voting will depend on where you live. Find your County Elections office for specific info on early voting in your community.
  3. Vote at your precinct on Election Day (Aug 30) – To look up your Election Day precinct click here.

Where do I vote?
Voting locations will depend on the County that you live in and if you’re voting early or on Election Day. To look up the voting locations in your County, click here.

Do I need to bring anything when I vote? ID?
When you vote early or on Election Day, bring at least one form of identification. To view accepted forms of ID, click here.

What’s on the ballot?
Your ballot will depend on the County in which you are voting. To find the sample ballot specific to your County, click here.

Many of the resources provided above were found on BeReadyToVote.org so if you still need help with your voting plan, we recommend that non-partisan voting guide. Happy voting!

 

3. League of Women Voters is Making the Sunshine State Sunnier
Solar co-ops coming to Florida

FL-SUN-logoThe Florida League of Women Voters is organizing solar co-ops across the state to allow more Floridians to go solar – at a discounted price.

The League established a new non-profit organization, Florida Sun United Neighborhoods (FL Sun), to educate homeowners about solar and help them form co-ops to organize bulk discounts for home solar installations. FL Sun facilitates the collection of competitive bids from local installers and provides group discount proposals that co-op members can choose from. Co-op members vote to choose the installer proposal that is best for the group. Joining a co-op is not a commitment to go solar. Co-op members that decide to install solar sign individual contracts with the chosen installer. By going solar as a group, homeowners can save up to 20% off the cost of a solar system, and get the benefit of the co-op’s support in navigating the sometimes complicated process of installing solar.

FL Sun works with the support of Community Power Network, a national non-profit that has an impressive track record of successfully organizing neighborhood solar co-ops and bulk discounts in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington DC.

Florida solar co-ops are already formed in Orange County and St. Petersburg, and FL Sun plans to expand statewide quickly, beginning with Brevard and Volusia Counties, Sarasota, and Alachua.

SACE is strongly supportive of the League of Women Voters’ efforts to establish a solar co-op movement in Florida to make solar more accessible and affordable. More solar homeowners means more support for good solar policy in Florida, new living-wage jobs, lower bills and energy costs, and a sustainable future for Florida.

Step into the sunshine! Visit the FL Sun website today to help bring a solar co-op to your community.

 

4. SACE and partners file federal Clean Water Act lawsuit against FPL for contamination at Turkey Point

New report provides affordable, practical solution to failed cooling canal system

Turkey Point b&w 3July was a busy month for SACE as we continued to spotlight FPL’s failed cooling canal system at their water-intensive Turkey Point facility, which includes two nuclear reactors, near Homestead, Florida. In mid-July, SACE and Tropical Audubon Society (TAS) filed a citizen lawsuit against FPL under the Clean Water Act (CWA) after an extensive review of evidence documenting discharges from the canals into Florida surface and ground waters. SACE and TAS, together with Friends of the Everglades, also served a supplemental 60-day notice which will allow Friends to join the lawsuit after 60 days and which includes additional violations of the CWA that have been documented since March.

Contaminated water leaking from FPL’s failing cooling canal system at Turkey Point is polluting the Biscayne Aquifer, a sole source aquifer that provides drinking water to more than 3 million people in the region and to the neighboring Biscayne National Park. In addition, there is clear evidence of contamination of the surface waters of Biscayne National Park caused by discharges from the cooling canal system. The failing cooling canal system is effectively an “open industrial sewer” with discharges that contains a slew of pollutants including ammonia, phosphorus, total nitrogen, high salinity levels and tritium. We identified extensive information that confirms that a growing plume of hyper-saline water and other pollutants have migrated in all directions, leading to a consistent violation of water quality standards.

Despite years of data proving that FPL has violated its operating permits, Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) continues to allow FPL to operate on an expired permit at Turkey Point and has failed to take the necessary actions to protect Biscayne Bay from ongoing leaks from the cooling canal system. This is why we were compelled to file suit.

SACE not only identifies problems, but is also committed to advocating for solutions. We therefore wanted to determine if any technologies or retrofits currently exist that FPL could implement to remedy some of the problems caused by reliance on the failing cooling canal system. We contracted with engineering expert Bill Powers of Powers Engineering and released an in-depth report at the end of July that recommends building mechanical draft cooling towers as an affordable, practical solution. Listen to the teleconference here and watch a SACE-created video of the cooling towers already in use at Turkey Point Unit 5 here.