FLORIDA GOV LOVES SUN
Solar energy opponents repeat the mantra that solar power installations require too much land to ever be cost competitive. Solar energy proponents quietly go on finding more than enough land, like this former landfill in Florida, where solar panels like the ones in the FPL Sunshine Energy Solar Array can go up to nobody’s dissatisfaction. The FPL array, Florida's biggest, went up in early February.
Florida’s Republican Governor Charlie Crist has the perfect mindset for a solar energy enthusiast. In response to objections about his state’s sun saturation, he replied, “You've got to be kidding me. We are the Sunshine State.”
Even calmer types than the governor are nonetheless enthusiastic about solar energy in Florida. Jerry Karnas, Florida director, Environmental Defense: "This is a huge day for Florida because this is just the tip of the iceberg…We've got tremendous potential here, not only to be part of the solution, but also to create a whole new economy in the state focused on clean, renewable energy."
Should Governor Crist be chosen by Senator McCain as a running mate, as rumors suggest, it is charming to think there might next year be solar panels in the D.C. home now occupied by Vice President Cheney.
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Crist applauds solar energy panels in Sarasota
Stacey Eidson, February 12, 2008 (Bradenton Herald)
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist; Florida Power & Light (FPL), Armando Olivera, President, and David Bates, manager, Sunshine Energy program;
At a dedication of a new Florida Power & Light solar installation, Crist reaffirmed his and the Sunshine State’s commitment to solar energy development.
FPL's Sunshine Energy program and its commitment to energy efficiency reflect the direction it is going.
The FPL Sunshine Energy Solar Array was dedicated February 12.
- FPL's Sunshine Energy Solar Array is at Rothenbach Park in Sarasota County, just east of Interstate 75 at the former Bee Ridge Landfill.
- FPL already has a second project in construction in South Florida.
FPL Energy, a division of FPL, built some of the first solar thermal power plants in the world. (click to enlarge)
- Sunshine Energy Solar Array: Largest Fla installation and 2nd largest in the southeast, 1,200 panels, 250 kilowatts, powering 40 average homes
- The FPL Sunshine Energy program offers FPL customers the opportunity to pay a $9.75 per month premium to support the development of more solar and clean energy facilities.
Sunshine Energy Solar Array is Florida's first but FPL already has another in the works. (click to enlarge)
- Crist, on the new solar array: "Do you know how many people visited the Sunshine State last year alone? Eighty-five million people visited Florida last year…They don't come here because she is ugly. They come here because she is beautiful. And what we are doing today only continues to create that opportunity going forward."
- Bates, FPL, on the Sunshine Energy program: "Currently, we have about 37,000 customers that are participating in this program…
- Crist, on the FPL Sunshine Energy program: "I think the community will participate…It is not very hard to get people to do the right thing, especially when they can reduce their power bill and utilize this great sunshine that we have in the Sunshine State."