Library from Florida
The agency said there was potential harm to the Everglade snail kite, bald eagle, wood stork, northern crested caracara and the many species that inhabit the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Also at risk were bats, which play a role in controlling insects that would otherwise infest the farm fields.
FPL is seeking an amendment to the county's land development code that would allow it to build temporary towers not to exceed 200 feet tall to collect wind data, ultimately to determine whether wind turbines would be viable sources of renewable energy in the county's AG-5 zoning district.
On Wednesday residents and environmental activists encouraged the National Park Service to purchase the tract of land FPL owns in the Everglades, rather than trading for a parcel further east.
That location would place the turbines near the northernmost remnants of the Everglades, as well as the South's largest lake and a series of man-made cleanup marshes that have become magnets for egrets, herons and ducks. The region is also the epicenter of a $15 billion Everglades restoration effort.
FPL has asked the county for permission to build 200-foot meteorological towers to gather wind data in western St. Lucie County. The data would determine whether there's enough wind to build turbines out west.
The county's Planning and Zoning Board unanimously recommended Thursday that county commissioners pass a rule letting people put up 200-foot meteorological towers on land designated as Agricultural-5.
The St. Louis company that built Missouri's first wind farm five years ago is seeking to do the same in Florida -- a $250 million project in west Palm Beach County.
After nearly a year of research, Progress Energy claims wind power just isn't practical here in Florida. ...Progress Energy's research project was supposed to run through the end of 2011, but with the lackluster results they will wrap up in January and write up a report for the state.
When wind-power boosters planned a town hall meeting Thursday in tiny Tybee Island, Ga., they slotted speaking time after the mayor for a manager from a British industry incubator.
In June, the company received an 18-month extension on its Hutchinson Island project. It's not pushing for a hearing and has agreed to put its application in abeyance, Martinez said. "While we wait for legislation, we will study the interior opportunities in the county," Martinez said.
The company envisioned a $45 million project with six wind turbines as tall as 40-story buildings, at about 400 feet, taller than the Statue of Liberty. The site was FPL land surrounding its nuclear plant. "We didn't want them to ruin our beaches in a place where there is no wind," said Julie Zahniser, founder of the Save St. Lucie Alliance.
FPL Group Inc. became the largest U.S. electricity producer by investing $11 billion in wind and solar power around the country. Those holdings are more critical to the bottom line after a utility rate ruling in Florida dimmed earnings prospects at the company's flagship unit. ...NextEra, which plans to build 1,000 megawatts of wind-generation capacity in 2010, helped push FPL past Southern Co. as the biggest U.S. power producer late last year.
A St. Cloud entrepreneur dreams of building wind turbines and a desalination plant 20 miles off the Port Canaveral shoreline, simultaneously generating electricity and drinking water. Ideally, this cluster of 50 to 100 windmills also would attract a bustling ecological habitat for fishing and diving -- and perhaps even an offshore casino. ...To date, no potential public- or private-sector partners have emerged. Hurley hopes to recruit a team of business leaders.
County Commissioner Doug Coward thinks rooftop solar panels are a better idea than the six 400-foot wind turbines Florida Power & Light Co. plans for South Hutchinson Island. "Why don't we take that $5 million (in subsidies for the turbines) away from a project that is ill-fated and actually shift it into trying to do widespread rooftop solar?" Coward asked during a Tuesday night commission meeting. "Maybe do it on a demonstration in St. Lucie."
Florida Power & Light's sister company is the biggest producer of wind power in the country, but the utility can't seem to get a wind project off the ground in its home state. FPL's proposal to build a wind farm on a barrier island in St. Lucie County has languished in the halls of county government since it was filed in 2007. Nearby residents have called the 400-foot-tall turbines eyesores and questioned their impact on Hutchinson Island's shoreline.
Large-scale power from the sun is finally gaining traction in Florida. And FPL is building solar plants in its home state, for the first time in the company's 79-year history. ...Though solar power is an expanding part of Florida Power & Light's agenda, the three new plants will generate far less power than conventional sources. After the three natural-gas units at West County Energy Center are complete in 2011, they will produce 3,750 megawatts of power - 34 times as much electricity as all three solar plants combined.
A proposal to require privately owned Florida utilities to generate more power from renewable and nuclear sources sailed through a Senate committee Tuesday even as it came under fire from all sides. The changes would be funded by a 2 percent increase in electricity rates and a 1-cent-a-gallon increase in the gas tax. ...The idea faces an uncertain future in the House.
A proposal to put up wind turbines along one of Southwest Florida's most prestigious beaches is getting mixed reaction. A Naples city councilman wants them on the city's beach front mansions. Others say no way! ...That's why he wants the city to allow small wind turbines to be placed on the rooftops of beachfront homes in the city.
As Congress gets ready to parcel out billions of dollars to create what President Obama likes to call "green collar jobs," energy analysts warn of the dangers of a rush into territory already littered with failed investments. "Yes, there's gold in green," said Susan Glickman, southern regional director for the Climate Group, which builds bridges between business and government to promote a cleaner planet. "But not all green is gold."
For some time, Florida Power & Light has been trying to join the green energy revolution. Prodded first by the governor's direction to diversify its fuel sources, and later by the governor's incentive programs for green energy, FPL has tried a variety of projects with mixed results at best. ...In the face of its own assertions that wind was not practical in Florida, and the independent studies showing there was enough wind for the latest model turbines only on the oceanfront, FPL persisted in proposing wind turbines at its St Lucie nuclear site.