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Florida public utilities boast about their solar output at energy conference in St. Petersburg

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Advocates for Floridians for Solar Choice say the central premise behind their attempt to have Floridians vote on a constitutional amendment is to make it cheaper for residents to buy solar power directly from a provider. The group says that the free market doesn’t work in Florida when it comes to renewable energy choices. There are 55 public utilities in the state, but current state law allows only the investor-owned utilities to do so. But those same critics say that power companies like Duke…

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Solar power constitutional amendment closer to getting on Florida ballot, but still needs lots more signatures

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A constitutional amendment that would allow Floridians the opportunity to purchase solar power for their home energy needs is one step closer to getting on the 2016 ballot, as the Financial Impact Estimating Conference (FIEC) has completed its review of the Florida Solar Choice ballot petition and filed its Financial Impact Statement with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Bondi must now send the FIEC statement to Florida’s Supreme Court for its review. Concurrently the court is taking up a required review of the ballot…

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FPL customers get a break on utility rates starting today

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Starting today, Florida Power & Light customers are getting a break. As of May 1, residential consumers for the state’s largest electric utility will pay approximately $3 less on a typical bill. Business customers also get some relief, with a 3 to 6 percent decrease as the state-approved reduction in the company’s fuel charge takes effect. This latest FPL rate decrease – the second in 2015 so far – comes from projected savings on fuel costs. Overall, FPL’s average residential customer…

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Despite stalling this year, hopes remain for Florida Competitive Workforce Act in 2016

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Despite the Legislature failing this year to advance statewide discrimination protections for employment, housing, and public accommodations, equality for Florida’s workforce is more popular than ever. With the early dismissal of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, the Florida Competitive Workforce Act did not advance during the recently ended 2015 Florida legislative session. However, the number of businesses and people backing the measure continue to reach new heights, giving supporters hope for a solid comeback when lawmakers reconvene in January 2016. Florida…

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Senate passes Duke/PSC bill after House rejected amendments

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The Senate on Wednesday voted to strip off amendments it passed to a bill involving Duke Energy Florida and financing for its Crystal River nuclear plant and sent the bill to the governor. HB 7109 would allow Duke Energy to issue bonds to cover $1.4 billion in operating costs prior to the shutdown of its Crystal River nuclear plant. Sen. Jack Latvala, sponsor of the Senate companion bill, said the legislation would save Duke customers $600 million over 20 years. But…

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FPL launches high-tech Power Delivery Diagnostic Center

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It may look a bit like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, but the new Florida Power & Light “smart grid” command center has one purpose: improving service reliability. FPL, the state’s largest utility, unveiled its Power Delivery Diagnostic Center, designed to manage a complex electric system that serves more than 4.7 million Florida customers. The goal of the Center, located in the FPL corporate offices in Jupiter, is to use advanced smart grid technology to provide reliable service, with…

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Sunday’s editorial pages

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Daytona Beach News-Journal – Cap, trade, conserve, tax: Florida’s way out of crisis: The warming of the planet is a severe global problem. It’s just as severe a local and state problem. Volusia and Flagler counties’ economies, from tourism to real estate, depend on a quality of life — and, literally, on square footage — that’s increasingly vulnerable to climatic shock. Lakeland Ledger – A mind boggling increase: Florida Power & Light Co. is skating on thin ice (mostly melted…

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