solar energy

Fl Power & Light Accelerates Plans To Add Solar Power

Feb 21, 2017

Florida's largest electric utility intends to double its solar-energy plans for the coming year, leading solar proponents to praise the announcement --- and say they would like to see more.

A month after outlining plans to build four solar plants this year, Florida Power & Light on Monday said it will put up eight such facilities by early 2018.

The company anticipates the plants --- combining to create nearly 600 megawatts of power, enough for about 120,000 homes at peak production --- will save customers "millions" over the lifetime of each center.

Florida voters recently rejected Amendment 1, which would have restricted the reselling of energy produced by solar panels to electric companies - a process known as net metering. But despite being one of the nation's sunniest states, Florida lags behind other states when it comes to solar capacity.

Mike Ray/flickr

More than 70% of Florida voters gave their support to constitutional Amendment 2, allowing the use of medical marijuana for debilitating conditions in the state. Backers of Amendment 1 did not have the same luck: the proposal failed to reach the 60 percent of support required for it to pass.

This week on The Florida Roundup…

A plan for a Miami Beach light rail gets a bit lighter due to high costs and pushback from the community. We discuss the challenges faced in funding public transit projects with Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales and The Miami Herald’s  reporter Joey Flechas.

Listen here: 

Opponents of the solar-energy ballot measure known as Amendment 1 held events in a dozen locations across the state Thursday, including in St. Petersburg.

They're urging Floridians to vote no on Tuesday.

Opponents of Amendment One are calling on the Florida Supreme Court to block the initiative less than a week before Election Day.  The group Floridians for Solar Choice believes amendment backers misled voters and the Court.

Another Florida icon is joining Key West troubadour Jimmy Buffett in the anti-Amendment 1 camp.

Several amendments to the state constitution will be on the ballot on election day, including one that would regulate solar energy. The wording of Amendment 1 has created some confusion, so WUSF's Steve Newborn shines a little light on that with PolitiFact Florida's Josh Gillin.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Solar energy is yet again a hot issue in the Sunshine State. Voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in August giving tax relief to businesses that own or lease solar panels. Another solar amendment will be on Florida’s ballot in November.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Florida’s solar Amendment 4 passed with brilliant colors Tuesday. With only 60 percent needed to pass, the measure’s overwhelming support suggests, perhaps, a new direction for solar in the Sunshine State, a relatively untapped source of energy.

 

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

At noon on a cloudless day, the sun beats down on the rooftop of a Coconut Grove hotel. Daren Goldin, a solar contractor, walks around rows of solar panels installed at angles on the white roof. The sun’s reflection is almost blinding, like snow on a sunny day.

Solar Initiative Tops Petition Threshold

Jan 25, 2016

A group backing a solar-energy ballot initiative has submitted enough valid petition signatures to take the issue to voters in November --- but still needs approval from the Florida Supreme Court for the proposed ballot wording.

Solar Advocates Eye 2018 For Ballot Initiative

Dec 21, 2015

Solar advocates say they are not giving up their campaign for a state constitutional amendment making the energy more available but now are looking beyond 2016 to 2018.

Mike Ray/flickr

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday approved a proposed ballot initiative that seeks to expand the use of solar energy, moving the state one step closer to a fierce political battle next year.

Solar Energy Tampa Florida/flickr

Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente, more than once Tuesday, advised lawyers that arguments about a proposed constitutional amendment to expand the use of solar energy leaned toward campaign rhetoric rather than key legal issues.

Still, when justices finished hearing arguments about ballot language proposed by the group Floridians for Solar Choice, supporters and opponents of the controversial initiative emerged from the Supreme Court offering positive spins.

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