Florida Power & Light to ask for voluntary payments to fund solar projects

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Florida Power & Light could begin asking customers to contribute up to $9 per month voluntarily to pay for solar-energy projects, in a proposal that state regulators will consider next week.

FPL will apply the money towards building and operating “relatively small solar generating facilities,” at a size determined by the amounts of contributions received. A staff analysis for the Florida Public Service Commission recommends approval of the three-year trial program.

FPL also plans to start construction of the solar projects, including ones located in metropolitan areas, as soon as January 2015 – prior to receiving any contributions.

“FPL states that to the extent possible the solar projects will be located in high visibility areas to further educate customers about and promote solar energy in Florida,” according to the analysis.

Marketing and administrative costs will take up to 20 percent of what is collected. The Public Service Commission will consider the proposal at its next meeting on Aug. 12.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.