Jan 13, 2022 - Politics

Bill cutting customers' savings from solar advances in Florida

Former President Barack Obama tours the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia in 2009.
Former President Barack Obama tours the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia in 2009. Photo: Mandel NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Florida senators on a panel were apprehensive but voted 6-2 to advance SB 1024, a bill intended to restrict the expansion of rooftop solar in Florida.

  • SB 1024 would lower utility savings for Floridians using rooftop solar panels by reducing how much utilities pay solar users to buy back their excess energy.

Between the lines: At least two senators who voted yes said they would vote no at full vote unless changes were made to the proposed bill to protect grandfathered-in solar customers and provide more solar access to low-income Floridians, Florida Politics reported.

By the numbers: Only about 90,000 of the state's 8.5 million customers sell excess energy back to the electrical grid, but the arrangement has driven significant rooftop solar expansion, the Times/Herald reports.

The rub: The Miami Herald's Mary Ellen Klas reports that Florida Power & Light, the nation's largest power company, wrote the legislation to stifle solar growth before giving big political donations to the bill's eventual sponsors.

The other side: So incensed was FP&L that they launched a website attacking Klas' reporting and the Miami Herald for refusing to run the company's full rebuttal.

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