solar power

Four Fathers Distillery owner Tim Daniels smelling a batch of his Black Copper Rum.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

A steam-boiler powered by new solar technology manufactured in Jacksonville is now being used to make whiskey, bourbon, vodka and rum at a local distillery.

Tiffany Salameh

JEA’s SolarSmart program is offering customers a way to benefit from solar energy without installing solar panels on their roofs.

The program allows customers to receive a percentage of their energy from the utility’s renewable solar source for an additional cost.

solar panels on roof
Marufish via Flickr

A solar power amendment Florida voters passed last month will likely cost the city of Jacksonville a hefty chunk of property tax revenue.  

solar panels
U.S. Navy / Flickr

The League of Women Voters of Florida and other organizations launched a campaign Wednesday opposing Amendment 1.

solar panels
U.S. Navy / Flickr

Primary-election voters Tuesday approved the expansion of a renewable-energy tax break that backers say will help businesses and spark the expanded use of solar energy in Florida.

solar panels
U.S. Navy / Flickr

TALLAHASSEE — A group seeking to put existing solar-energy regulations into the state Constitution expects to spend "millions" in the coming months to promote the utility-backed amendment.

The group, known as "Consumers for Smart Solar," held a news conference Tuesday and announced a campaign slogan, "Yes on 1 for the Sun," but provided few other details of the upcoming campaign.

hand lighting marijuana joint
Chuck Grimmett via Flickr

Florida voters could potentially decide on  five proposed constitutional amendments this year.

Three of them will appear on the November ballot, and two others are awaiting approval from the governor and Florida Supreme Court.


solar panel
Oregon Department of Transportation via Flickr

Solar panel users in Jacksonville are fighting a JEA plan to reduce the amount the utility pays them for their excess power, under a practice called net metering.

Consumers say cutting incentives would make installing solar panels less affordable.


A utility-backed measure intended to put existing solar-energy regulations into the state Constitution drew indications of skepticism and support Monday from Florida Supreme Court justices

Bill Gulliford is one of two city councilmen who sponsored -- and then recently withdrew -- bills related to expanding anti-discrimination protections to LGBT residents.

Gulliford’s bill would have put the question on a local ballot: Should people be allowed to turn someone down for a job, housing, or service in places like restaurants because they’re gay or transgender?

We speak with Jacksonville City Council Bill Gulliford about the issue.


solar panels on roof
Marufish via Flickr

A coalition trying to expand who can provide solar energy in Florida formally shifted its focus Monday toward trying to pass a ballot initiative in 2018.

Members of the group "Floridians for Solar Choice," which had fallen behind in qualifying for the November 2016 ballot and remains in the midst of a contract dispute with a petition-gathering firm, announced the change during a news conference at the Florida Press Center in Tallahassee.

Floridians for Solar Choice

The light is fading for one of two solar-energy initiatives trying to get on Florida's 2016 ballot.
 
The "Floridians for Solar Choice" coalition, which remains about 400,000 petitions short of qualifying for the 2016 ballot and is in the midst of a contract dispute with a petition-gathering firm, announced Thursday night it has started to explore options for appearing on the 2018 ballot. 

Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a key supporter of the coalition, on Friday called the decision "a strategic pivot."

The Church of Eleven22, a popular Jacksonville church in the Intracoastal area, is one of the fastest growing congregations in the country, drawing young worshippers attracted to its positive message and dynamic pastor.

A recent investigation in Folio Weekly finds some former members raising concerns about the church. In particular, there are allegations that members are pressured to deny their sexual orientation after Eleven22 released a video earlier this year of a member discussing the church's impact on her homosexuality.

Church of Eleven22 Pastor Joseph "Joby" Martin III joins us with his thoughts.


Troy Cryder / NASA

We speak with Hazel Henderson, founder and president of the Ethical Markets Media, an St. Johns County based independent media company focusing on sustainability news. Henderson is also an evolutionary economist, author and consultant on sustainable development. She joins us to discuss Florida and climate change, as well as her organization's Green Transition Scoreboard, which tracks private investment in green technologies.

solar exposure map
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Jacksonville City Councilman and Republican mayoral candidate Bill Bishop was on WJCT's "First Coast Connect" call-in show this week. When a listener asked Bishop why there's not more solar power in Florida, he said a low amount of sunshine is a big factor. But research shows Florida actually has above-average solar potential and production.

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