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Tampa Bay Times’ mind-boggling figures in ‘rooftop solar fight’ don’t add up

in Peter/Top Headlines by

Consider the eye-grabbing Tampa Bay Times’ front-page headline Wednesday: $43M spent to limit solar. Beyond the silliness of assuming that every dollar utilities donated this cycle is part of a plot to fight rooftop solar — as if there is nothing else they care about — the story is screwed up six ways to Sunday. If a politician were to use these numbers, PolitiFact would rate them somewhere in the range of Mostly False to Pants on Fire. Let’s start from the top: “Lost…

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Duke, FPL fuel pro-David Jolly super PAC

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

U.S. Rep. David Jolly’s re-election campaign in Florida’s 13th Congressional District took in $625,000 over the first 19 days of October, with half coming from utility companies. People for Pinellas, the committee backing the incumbent Republican, received a $250,000 check from Florida Power & Light and another $100,000 from Duke Energy, with the American Society of Anesthesiologists PAC donating $100,000, and St. Pete businessmen James MacDougald and Bill Edwards giving $50,000 apiece. Jolly has been on the receiving end of attack…

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Outside group hits David Jolly over nuke fees

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

House Majority PAC is out with its second ad of the political cycle attacking David Jolly — this time on Florida’s controversial nuclear cost recovery law. Called “Cost,” the ad hits the Congressional District 13 Republican for taking thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Duke Energy while saying he was doing nothing to stop the utility from charging taxpayers for a nuclear power plant that will never be built. The ad opens with a St. Petersburg couple identified as “Lucinda and Howard…

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Solar incentives the focus of new Consumer Energy Alliance report

in Statewide by

The cost of installing rooftop solar systems is at a record low due in part to government and utility incentives, according to a new report. The report, commissioned by the Consumer Energy Alliance, found incentives have significantly reduced the residential customers’ costs of installing rooftop solar systems. Michael Whatley, executive vice president of the Consumer Energy Alliance, said in a statement the organization is hopeful the report will help produce “pro-solar, pro-grid, and pro-consumer policies here in Florida to ensure…

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Joe Henderson: For solar energy supporters, Amendment 1 raises red flags

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

In the Aug. 30 primary, Florida voters made it unmistakably clear how they feel about solar energy. Nearly 73 percent of them voted to approve an amendment providing a tax break for businesses that convert to solar power. That was just what backers of clean energy in Florida wanted, of course. Now they have a new request for voters: When Amendment 1, otherwise known as Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Use Initiative, comes up in November, those same…

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FPL halfway to sunny goal of 1 million solar panels installed by year’s end

in Apolitical by

Florida’s top utility is kicking its solar capacity into high gear, celebrating the halfway mark of an audacious goal of one million solar panels in operation by the end of 2016. Florida Power & Light, the state’s largest solar power generator, announced Thursday the installation of its 500,000th solar panel, part of a plan to bring three new solar energy centers online this year. Each of the proposed centers expects to generate 74.5 megawatts of generating capacity apiece, making them…

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Tallahassee officials say they did not “reject” offers of help with power restoration; they just didn’t say “yes”

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

In their clearest explanation yet, Tallahassee city officials said Tuesday they did not “reject” offers of help from outside utilities in the wake of Hurricane Hermine, but rather just didn’t say “yes” to everyone right away. That was because too many workers, rather than being a boon, would have presented a coordination and safety nightmare, officials suggested. The Tallahassee City Commission held a special meeting to “discuss the impacts of Hurricane Hermine and the (electricity) restoration progress.” One of the…

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