A doctor, a utility board member, a health-care executive and a state lawmaker are among the nine people who will help decide the way Florida gets, produces and uses its energy for the next several decades. They are members of the new Florida Energy Commission, which was created as part of a major energy law passed by state lawmakers this year that is designed to lessen the state's dependence on expensive natural gas and foreign oil. Among other things, the group is charged with figuring out how the state should best develop and use renewable sources of energy, such as solar, wind and biomass. The commission also must decide how to increase the safety and construction standards for utility lines and poles so they can better withstand hurricanes.
Library from Florida
If a few people get their way, a few more windmills will dot the Broward landscape in the next few years -- more as a symbol of the county's agrarian roots and a nod to environmental sensitivity than a true alternative power source.
While the Southeast's climate is not conducive to large wind generating farms, other states, like North Dakota, Kansas, Texas and South Dakota, have enormous potential for wind generation. For example, it's estimated that North Dakota's wind resources alone potentially could produce 1.2 trillion megawatts of electricity annually, which is about a third of the current total U.S. output. Although Florida and other Deep South states are not major players in wind generation, the region stands to directly benefit -- as Pensacola has -- from the jobs created as demand for wind generating equipment and devices expands.
With the addition of more than 445 megawatts of new wind capacity since January, FPL Group, the parent company of Florida Power & Light Co., has become the largest owner and operator of wind power in the world.
FPL, the biggest U.S. generator of power from wind, has added 722 megawatts of wind power in the past year, and an additional 330 megawatts are under construction, Chief Executive Officer Lewis Hay, 50, said in the statement.
After years of saying Florida is not a good spot for wind-generated energy, Florida Power & Light is searching for a place to set up an experimental wind-turbine field.
Florida critics of offshore oil drilling say rigs would blight Gulf of Mexico vistas. So imagine a different kind of energy-harnessing rig looming over offshore waters: windmills hundreds of feet tall, with three-prong blades slicing through the sky to generate relatively pollution-free electricity.
MARINELAND -- Florida Power & Light customers may plug into wind energy in Florida sometime next year if a coastal project shows promise.
TALLAHASSEE -- Floridians support lifting a ban on oil drilling 100 miles or more from the state's Gulf Coast beaches by a 51 to 42 percent majority, and many say rising gasoline prices have influenced their approval, a poll released Thursday showed.
The bill would cut red tape for utilities seeking sites for new power plants and lines, provide grants for renewable energy development and offer limited tax incentives for solar energy devices, hydrogen powered vehicles and a pair of alternative fuels, biodiesel and ethanol.