FMEA News Feed

Bills Filed to Block EPA Clean Power Plan

epaTwo Republican lawmakers want to keep Florida from having to follow new federal clean-energy regulations while the state backs a legal challenge to an Obama administration rule aimed at reducing carbon emissions from power plants. Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, and Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, filed similar legislation Thursday opposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. The plan, released by the EPA in August, sets limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants and is intended to help states reduce dependence on coal and other fossil fuels while increasing the use of cleaner energy sources.

In a news release, Diaz contended the federal rules put thousands of coal-related jobs in the state at risk and could cause “skyrocketing energy costs” by requiring carbon dioxide emissions to be reduced in Florida by 26 percent. “As a state representative it is my job to ensure that over burdensome regulations do not hurt Florida’s most financially vulnerable citizens,” Diaz said in the release. “It is also my job to push back against a regulation that was adopted by unelected bureaucrats who do not understand what the cost to Floridians will actually be.”

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‘Substantial’ efficiency achievements seen in public power sector

energy_savingSubstantial energy efficiency achievements are happening in the public power sector of the U.S. electricity industry, according to a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

“While the rapid growth in utility energy efficiency efforts and accomplishments over the past decade has been widely recognized and reported upon, most of that attention has been devoted to investor-owned utilities,” said the November report, entitled Municipal Utility Energy Efficiency: Successful Examples Around the Nation.

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Investor-Owned Utilities Pour Money Into Solar Initiative

Solar Power StationThe state’s four major investor-owned electric utilities have spent almost $1.9 million since July in a battle of competing solar-energy ballot initiatives, according to campaign-finance records.

Florida Power & Light, Tampa Electric, Gulf Power and Duke Energy are supporting a political committee known as “Consumers for Smart Solar,” which reported that it had raised $2.31 million in October.  Continue reading

OUC’s Reliability Tops IOU’s in State

150px_OUCNewly released data for OUC’s last Fiscal Year (ending September 30) clearly show its customers enjoy far fewer electric outages and shorter delays when compared to the state’s larger investor-owned utilities (IOU’s).

OUC’s rolling 12-month data shows OUC finishing well ahead in all key performance areas that measure overall electric reliability. The top showing comes even after the summer’s intense heat pushed OUC to set two all-time record peak demands for power and evening storms brought tens of thousands of lightning strikes into our area. Continue reading

FMEA Presents Building Strong Communities Awards

The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) recently honored 15 municipal electric utilities with its 2015 Building Strong Communities Award, recognizing each utility for its commitment to enhancing the quality of life in their community.

Presented with the awards during FMEA’s annual Energy Connections Conference and Trade Show on November 5, winners were selected for community improvement programs that included: volunteering activities, science fairs, community festivals, tree-planting programs, charitable support of local health and human service agencies, energy efficiency customer rebate programs and electric safety expos. Continue reading

Watts Bar 2 Applauded at Nuclear Energy Institute Roundtable

watts-bar-unit-2-first-new-nuclear-generation-6-638The first new nuclear power reactor that will come on line in the 21st century — the  Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar 2 — carries on a proud public power tradition because it “has been built by and for the people of the Tennessee Valley,” TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said on Oct. 26.

The 1,150-megawatt plant near Spring City, Tennessee, is a milestone for TVA and the nation, Johnson said. “We must be able to provide clean, low-cost, environmentally sound power,” he said, speaking at a roundtable discussion with reporters that was held at the Nuclear Energy Institute’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued an operating license for Watts Bar 2 on Oct. 22.
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Solar-Plus-Storage Could Be Perfect Fit for Low-Income Communities

SolarStorageHI1 Solar photovoltaic installations coupled with battery storage can provide resilience during extended outages, such as the aftermath of 2012’s Superstorm Sandy. Multi-day outages caused by storms can have an exacerbated effect on vulnerable populations, but the Clean Energy Group recently identified the coupled technologies as an ideal solution.

“Once disaster strikes, low-income and vulnerable populations — those requiring supportive services — have the most difficulty dealing with the consequences,” CEG said in its recent report tiled Resilience for Free. “Hospitals, nursing homes, 911 call centers, emergency shelters, and other critical facilities also need reliable, resilient electrical power to deliver emergency services to the community when the supporting power grid is down.”

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