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Florida Utility Lobbies Against Solar For Regular People, But Uses It For Its Own Portfolio

FPL has worked very hard to manipulate the public and political machinations of rule making. And this political harm means Florida is lagging in the solar race – despite being the Sunshine State – because of bureaucratic capture of the legislative bodies and aggressive, misleading advertising against public-led solar movements.

One could very easily chalk this up to something like ‘that’s politics in the big city.’ And you’d be correct – but that doesn’t make the situation smart. In 2016, Florida – third largest state in population and twenty-second largest in area – wasn’t in the top ten of installed solar power. FPL’s installation volumes announced are actually paltry totals. There are individual power plants larger than all of FPL’s current and planned solar.

Historically, the argument has been that making solar “cost-effective” in Florida has proven difficult. Even after announcing plans to increase its solar generation capacity by 225 megawatts by the end of next year, FPL said last week that “solar power — even the most economical large-scale installation — is generally not yet cost-effective in FPL’s service area.”

The argument is based upon the cloudiness of Florida. Solar power plants in the southwest of the USA – where NextERA, FPL’s parent company, builds and owns facilities – get seven to eight ‘no