LISTEN LIVE

solar energy

With the state’s energy portfolio surpassing 60 percent natural gas, Florida’s utility regulators are pushing for greater diversity.

Solar Project Unveiled To Serve Municipal Utilities

May 7, 2018

A dozen municipal electric utilities will purchase power from a solar-energy project in Central Florida that is expected to start operating in 2020, the Florida Municipal Power Agency announced Friday. 

JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd., the Shanghai, China-based solar-panel manufacturer planning a factory in Jacksonville, will provide millions of solar modules to NextEra Energy.

The Solar Foundation says solar jobs are on the rise in the Sunshine State.

Florida is increasing its solar power installations faster than almost any other state in the nation, according to a new report by the Solar Energy Industries Association.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

This is the Sunshine State, so doesn’t solar power make sense? Then why does it only make up a tiny fraction of Florida’s electricity output? 

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters we’re taking another listen to our conversation about the promise and prognosis of solar power in the Sunshine State.


Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Now there's a way to leverage the power of group buying to get solar power installed in homes and businesses. Two new cooperatives are being formed to spread the cost of getting solar power installed in homes in Hillsborough and north Pinellas counties.

The League of Women Voters and a consortium called Florida Solar United Neighborhoods started the solar power co-operatives. The co-op aids residents and businesses by using competitive bidding. 

Duke Plan Would End Nuclear Project, Boost Solar Energy

Aug 30, 2017

Duke Energy Florida on Tuesday began seeking approval of a wide-ranging settlement agreement that would eliminate the possibility of building nuclear reactors in Levy County, boost solar-energy projects and help set base electricity rates for the coming years.

Advocates are hopeful they’ll see legislation implementing tax breaks on solar energy pass the legislature this session. But they’re not happy with different parts of the House and Senate bills.

After winning big at the ballot box in November, solar energy supporters are worried a House proposal could dim the victory.

Florida Plays Catch Up on Solar Energy Playing Field

Mar 13, 2017

Florida is looking toward solar energy as a solution — not only for its energy problems but for its economic issues as well. Though it is the third most populous state, it currently ranks fifth in the nation on solar energy yields. Florida Power and Light hopes to change this, with plans to add three solar sites by 2018 and eight more in the coming years.

Fl Power & Light Accelerates Plans To Add Solar Power

Feb 20, 2017
Photo Courtesy Florida Power & Light

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.

Gulf Coast Community Foundation

Sarasota residents who want to try out solar energy are getting a chance to save money on rooftop panels. A new solar co-op launched in the county Wednesday morning.

Republican Senator Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg won big in August when voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 4, his solar tax cut ballot measure.

Ikea

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.

According to a new report by the environmental advocacy organization Environment Florida, Florida ranks third in the nation for the number of potential solar panels, but is 16th in energy derived from the sun.

Fl Supreme Court Rejects Effort To Block Solar Power Amendment

Nov 4, 2016

The Florida Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a pair of legal moves aimed at striking down a solar-energy ballot initiative backed by major utilities.

In terse, single-line statements, justices dismissed as "moot" requests by the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association and the group Floridians for Solar Choice to reconsider the court's approval of ballot language for the initiative known as Amendment 1.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

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.

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 a hot issue again in Florida.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Florida is called the “Sunshine State,” but we don’t really live up to the name when it comes to solar power.

Research by the Solar Energy Industries Association shows that while we’re third in the nation for rooftop solar potential, we’re 14th when it comes to solar capacity that’s actually been installed.

The University of South Florida is trying to change that, with ground-breaking research and solar installations at both the Tampa and Saint Petersburg campuses.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Florida is called the “Sunshine State,” but we don’t really live up to the name when it comes to solar power.

Research by the Solar Energy Industries Association shows that while we’re third in the nation for rooftop solar potential, we’re 14th when it comes to solar capacity that’s actually been installed.

The University of South Florida is trying to change that, with ground-breaking research and solar installations at both the Tampa and Saint Petersburg campuses.

Solar Advocates Eye 2018 For Ballot Initiative

Dec 21, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

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.

The sun appears to be setting on a solar power ballot initiative, with organizers saying they may not collect enough signatures by a February 1st deadline.

Floridians for Solar Choice is uniting an unlikely crew in support of their 2016 ballot initiative.

A bill that would amend the state’s constitution to give tax breaks to people who install renewable energy devices on their properties passed its first committee Tuesday with no complaints and no debate. The bill is sponsored by St. Petersburg Republican Senator Jeff Brandes

“Occasionally a proposal comes along that both the Baptists and the Bootleggers can agree on and this just happens to be one of those proposals,” Brandes says.

Fl. Justices Give Green Light to Solar Initiative

Oct 23, 2015

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.

Duke Energy Plans Solar Facility In Perry

Oct 16, 2015

Duke Energy Florida plans to build a 5-megawatt solar facility on 20 acres in Taylor County, the company announced Thursday.

The facility, expected to use about 22,000 solar panels, is to be built adjacent to the Duke Energy Perry substation, which is across the street from Taylor County Elementary School.

The project, in Florida's Big Bend region, still needs state and local permitting and is expected to be operational by May, according to a release from Duke Energy.

'Smart Solar' Initiative Soaks Up Contributions

Sep 11, 2015

In a battle involving two solar-energy ballot initiatives, a political committee backed by major utilities collected $335,000 in August --- and had raised $798,000 in less than two months, according to a newly filed finance report.

The group, known as Consumers for Smart Solar, also had nearly $400,000 in the bank as September began.

Meanwhile, rival group Floridians for Solar Choice, which awaits a state Supreme Court decision on its proposed ballot language, appeared to be living almost paycheck-to-paycheck based on a financial report filed Thursday.

Pages