Tuesday, July 18, 2017

They moved a mountain: a new solar mandate in South Miami, Florida ... by gimleteye

Delaney Reynolds and EOM writer, Alan Farago April 22 2017, Miami March for Science
Congratulations to the majority of South Miami city commissioners, to Mayor Philip Stoddard, and to Delaney Reynolds, the University of Miami student (incoming freshman) who proposed and passed a city ordinance requiring new construction or significant remodeling to incorporate solar energy.

Last year there were less than a dozen new homes built in the small Florida municipality, but the government mandate is a common sense measure, albeit one that stirred a backlash by the monopolistic regional electricity supplier, Florida Power and Light.

Solar in Florida, "The Sunshine State", has had a brutally difficult time taking flight compared to other states as a result of monopolistic practices by the state's large utilities. Their goal? To put solar at a cost disadvantage to consumers.

The utilities have taken a simple approach: buy off state regulators and top politicians like Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam (aiming to replace Scott as Florida's next governor), and to enforce, basically, their conviction that no one gets to tell them how to run their businesses.

Meek regulators, pompom waving cheerleaders from statewide business and trade councils, and politicians in the pockets of big campaign contributors have all conspired to keep solar at an awkward disadvantage to consumers except for the bravest and most hardy.

Among those: university science professor South Miami Mayor Stoddard. Citizen Stoddard installed solar in his South Miami home many years ago. He knows to the last penny how much solar has saved his family budget. Florida Power and Light underwrote a smear campaign against Stoddard and funded his political opponents.

This is the point about the absolute power held by the state's electric utilities: so much effort, time and money is spent protecting and defending the high walls of monopolistic practices that any breach -- even 10 homes per year in the case of South Miami -- is interpreted as a dire threat. (All Florida monopolies, including Big Sugar, behave the same way: a very good reason for elected representatives not to empower monopolies.)

Successful businesses adapt and evolve or die. Instead of ruing that FPL has made such bone-headed errors -- Turkey Point nuclear's failed cooling canals in the most present and pressing example -- Floridians should celebrate South Miami's leadership and a smart, rising environmentalist, Delaney Reynolds.

Time will tell; the mountain needed to be moved, and they moved it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree about the boneheadedness of FP and L.
it's always useful to know the adversary's motivation and constraints.

After reading the below rev article, it occurs to me and I'm suspecting that FPL is cursed with, yes, too much power production at present. This could explain it's resistance to have to "incorporate" other generated power, not under they're control, in to the grid.


As the discussion section reveals, the burning question is how much for how much power, live expectancy, who controls and owns what, and my question, how save are lithium battery's nowadays built in to a house?

I would love to be of grid, but see now way yet to afford it. With today's power comfort that is.