Solar In The Southeast, Fall Update

Thanks to weak or non-existent policies, inconsistent incentives, and a myriad of other excuses, the Southeast, as a whole, has yet to live up to its high solar potential. The last several months have brought some interesting developments though, some good and some challenging. Here’s a quick overview of the key takeaways, from North to South.

Public window into Florida utility planning opens, shuts

While Floridians await a Public Service Commission (PSC) ruling later this year on a 24% rate hike for Florida Power & Light, the Commission is also considering another matter: acceptance of Ten Year Site Plans from the largest state utilities. The Ten Year Site Plan is a summary of Florida’s largest power companies’ resource plans for the next ten years. This year’s Site Plans rely on continuing to run old coal plants and building more natural gas fired power.

What if Hurricane Matthew Hits Florida’s Nuclear Reactors?

A report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists evaluated the risks of flood surge on associated power plant infrastructure in southern Florida. UCS’s report states, “Although Turkey Point, a large nuclear facility along the coast, is unlikely to be flooded by a Category 3 storm, everything around it is likely to be, and damage to nearby major substations could still prompt widespread outages in the region.” Similar impacts may be expected of other power plants in the path of Hurricane Matthew.

Florida Power & Light – Solar Leader or Solar Laggard?

Florida Power & Light (FPL) professes to be a solar leader. According to FPL, “Florida’s clean energy landscape is bright.” FPL touts that it’s tripling the amount of solar it’s generating for customers this year as if that’s a huge accomplishment to be celebrated. In fact, the utility goes so far as to claim that [...]

Guest Blog: Florida Solar Businesses Speak Out Against Amendment 1

This is a guest blog from the Erika Dunayer with Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA) who is a non-profit professional association of companies. Since 1977, FlaSEIA has been dedicated to protecting and promoting the interests of the solar energy industry in Florida.

How are the White House’s transportation initiatives measuring up?

Three years ago, the Obama Administration outlined their goals for “Building a 21st – Century Transportation Sector” in their Climate Action Plan. The goal of the plan included increasing fuel economy standards and expanding advanced transportation technologies. We’ve come a long way in those few short years. The Administration has dramatically increased fuel economy standards for our cars, which aims to achieve a 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) fleetwide average by 2025. Through this initiative alone, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) over the lifetimes of the vehicles sold (MY 2012-2025) will be cut, save families more than $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, and further reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Just last week, new rules to dramatically improve the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions were also finalized.

Colorado shows path forward on renewable energy

From Colorado to the Southeast? A major settlement on vexing renewable energy issues has just been announced in Colorado that has important implications for the Southeast. On August 15, a major settlement was announced between Xcel Energy, the staff of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, and numerous businesses and associations in Xcel Energy’s rate case. [...]

Environmental Leadership? New Study Provides Facts and Solutions for FPL’s Turkey Point Open Industrial Sewer

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) not only identifies problems, but is also committed to advocating for solutions. One of the most significant water quality problems in the Southeast is the ongoing pollution at Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) Turkey Point cooling canal system. This open industrial sewer appears to be in direct conflict with FPL’s corporate environmental stewardship goals. And a slick PR campaign can’t cover up evidence that this system is failing and needs to be fixed.

Florida Solar Month: History of Solar Power in the Sunshine State

During the month of August, we will be sharing blogs that promote solar in the Sunshine State. Follow along!

Guest Post: FPL Sued Over Turkey Point Crisis By Environmental Groups In Federal Clean Water Act Lawsuit

Last week environmental groups — Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Tropical Audubon Society, and Friends of the Everglades — filed a Clean Water Act lawsuit against FPL in federal court for ongoing pollution at the Turkey Point power complex in South Florida.