FMEA News Feed

House Solar Bill Drawing Controversy 

Some backers of a renewable-energy tax break that voters approved in August contend a House proposal to carry out the constitutional amendment could slow the growth of solar energy in Florida.

Also, several members of the House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee, which unanimously supported the proposal this week, expressed reservations that regulations outlined in the bill (HB 1351) may be too “overwhelming” for some in the solar installation industry.

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Gulf Power Reaches Rate Settletment

A rate hike on the horizon for hundreds of thousands of Gulf Power customers might not be as big as initially proposed.

The Northwest Florida utility agreed Monday to a settlement with the state Office of Public Counsel, which objected to an original proposal to raise base rates by $106.8 million. An announcement of the settlement came just prior to the start of a hearing before the Florida Public Service Commission.

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St. Johns River Power Park Decommissioning Planned for 2018

Environmental Benefits and Cost Savings Compelling

JEA and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) have agreed to terms to decommission the St. Johns River Power Park (SJRPP), a 1,252 MW coal-fired electric generating plant owned jointly by JEA (80 percent) and FPL (20 percent), in early 2018. When SJRPP was constructed in the early 1980s it represented the largest construction project in Jacksonville’s history. SJRPP has reliably served JEA and FPL customers for 30 years.

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Trump Budget Calls for Big EPA Funding Cut, Limits on DOE Funding

Funding for the Environmental Protection Agency would be cut by $2.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2018 under the first of a series of budget documents to be released this spring by President Donald Trump. The budget would also eliminate or reduce funding for certain Department of Energy programs.

Overall, federal funding for non-defense energy programs would be cut 18 percent and for the EPA by 31 percent in Fiscal Year 2018 under the budget.

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State Regulators Ready to Grapple with Gulf Power Rates

State regulators are poised to hear arguments about a request from Gulf Power to raise base electric rates for hundreds of thousands of customers in Northwest Florida, amid opposition from consumer, business and environmental groups.

The Florida Public Service Commission is scheduled Monday to begin a multi-day hearing on Gulf’s request for a $106.8 million base-rate increase. Pensacola-based Gulf provides electricity to about 450,000 customers in eight counties and is one of four major investor-owned utilities in the state.

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Supreme Court Overturns Regulators on Utility Costs

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a decision by state regulators about how a utility could recoup costs from customers for a construction project.

The 5-1 ruling stemmed from a 2015 request by Florida Public Utilities Co. to collect money from customers for an interconnection project with Florida Power & Light.

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Lawmakers Could Un-do FPL Court Rulings

The state’s largest electric utility is pushing two proposals — put on the fast track by Republican leaders — that amount to end-runs around recent court rulings, drawing outrage from consumer groups and large utility customers.

The Senate Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee unanimously approved both measures Tuesday, despite objections from AARP and proponents of alternative energy.

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