Florida Power and Light Desoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center: A sheep in wolf's clothing?

Florida Power and Light Desoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center: A sheep in wolf's clothing?

As Florida Power and Light consumers struggle for green jobs and a healthier environment, nuclear power and politics have eliminated the residential and commercial photovoltaic solar industry in Florida as of January 2010.
Florida Power and Light consumers want to be energy efficient and leaders in renewable energy.  President Obama's October 2009 visit to Florida Power and Light DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia, FL was supposed to be a landmark for the growing renewable energy economy in Florida.  The goal of this investor-owned solar facility is:

    • Produce 42,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) from 90,500 solar panels
    • Power 3,000 homes for 7,000 residents
    • Provide electricity for 20% of Desoto County

The Florida Solar Energy Incentives Program is dead. This program received $14.4 million in federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This funding was used to award rebates to systems in the application queue. No new applications are being accepted.
Florida sun hours make it ideal for photovoltaic solar systems.  Florida also needs to create green jobs from deploying distributed solar energy systems on residential and commercial property.
The Florida Power and Light Desoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center became a reality due to a provision in a 2008 state energy bill that allowed FPL to recoup all of its expenses for this and 2 other solar test projects totaling 110 megawatts (MW). 
THE SAME BILL is funding Florida Power and Light upgrades to 4 existing nuclear reactors in 2013 and 2014.  In addition, the bill funds 2 new nuclear power plants starting in 2018. 
Though Florida Power and Light can regain all of the $150 million Desoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center investment,  homeowners will still pay $.13-$.15/kWh.  Business rates as low as $.06-$.08/kWh are subsidized by homeowners and do not encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades. 
Unemployment is at an all-time high for Florida.  Prospects for green jobs supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy in Florida will require consumer action. 
Florida's politicians have fallen behind most of the country in their commitment to support renewable energy goals.  The Florida legislature and Governor Charlie Crist are stalling on their responsibilities to enact green policies to improve the environment. 
Under 4% of Florida's energy comes from renewable energy sources- only 1% coming from photovoltaic solar.  Florida's energy efficiency goals are ten times less than 17 other states and are still being considered by the Public Service Commission.  Plans to create a reduction rule for greenhouse gas emissions have been postponed indefinitely by Governor Charlie Crist.
What can you do?  In politics, the squeaky wheel gets attention.
Rich Hessler, Principal
[email protected]
To contact your Florida political representatives:
Gov. Charlie Crist (R) 850-488-4441

State Legislature Links   Sen. George LeMieux (R) Fax: 202-224-2237 Sen. Bill Nelson (D) Fax: 202-228-2183 Rep. Jeff Miller (R-1) Fax: 202-225-3414 Rep. F. Allen Boyd (D-2) Fax: 202-225-5615 Rep. Corrine Brown (D-3) Fax: 202-225-2256 Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-4) Fax: 202-225-2504 Rep. Virginia Brown-Waite (R-5) Fax: 202-226-6559 Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-6) Fax: 202-225-3973 Rep. John Mica (R-7) Fax: 202-226-0821 Rep. Alan Grayson (D-8) Fax: 202-225-0999 Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-9) Fax: 202-225-4085 Rep. Bill Young (R-10) Fax: 202-225-9764 Rep. Kathy Castor (D-11) Fax: 202-225-5652 Rep. Adam Putnam (R-12) Fax: 202-225-0585 Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-13) Fax: 202-226-0828 Rep. Connie Mack (R-14) Fax: 202-225-6820 Rep. Bill Posey (R-15) Fax: 202-225-3516 Rep. Tom Rooney (D-16) Fax: 202-225-3132 Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-17) Fax: 202-226-0777 Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-18) Fax: 202-225-5620 Vacant (19) Fax: 202-225-5974 Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-20) Fax: 202-225-8456 Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-21) Fax: 202-225-8576 Rep. Ron Klein (D-22) Fax: 202-225-8398 Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-23) Fax: 202-225-1171 Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-24) Fax: 202-226-6299 Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-25) Fax: 202-226-0346

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