solar power

A1A Solar

As Florida Power & Light began pursuing an increase in base electric rates this year, a new group, Floridians Against Increased Rates, emerged to oppose the utility.

That has led to battles at the state Public Service Commission about whether the group, dubbed FAIR, should be able to take part in the high-stakes rate case and whether information about its members should be made public.

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.

FSCJ President Cynthia Bioteau
FSCJ

Florida State College at Jacksonville is marking its 50th anniversary this year, as well as the first year of the school's new president, Dr. Cynthia Bioteau. We speak with Bioteau about what's in store for FSCJ, and get her reaction to President Barack Obama's recent call for two years of free community college for American students.

Floridians for Solar Choice

An unlikely coalition of Tea Party groups, environmentalists, Libertarians, business leaders and more is working to ramp up solar power in Florida. The group Floridians for Solar Choice is trying to put an initiative on the 2016 ballot to allow people to generate their own solar power, and then sell it directly to other consumers. We speak with Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, about their efforts.

solar panels
U.S. Navy / Flickr

Florida is missing out on clean energy jobs. That’s the finding of a new report released Wednesday. 

As far as solar energy goes, the Sunshine State is third in the country for potential -- and 18th in actual installation.

Troy Cryder / NASA

We’re called the Sunshine State, but does Florida do enough to harness solar energy?

Charter schools, the Jacksonville Riverwalk, and Common Core are in the headlines today.

Keuka Energy

Could a First Coast-based energy firm have the answer to global climate change?

Going Green: 2040 Talks At UNF Promote Solar Energy Investing

Nov 27, 2013
U.S. Green Building Council

The North Florida chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council is hosting its 2040 Talks Thursday, Dec. 5, at the University of North Florida's University Center.

The event will explore how the First Coast can become a green, sustainable region by the year 2040.

Hazel Henderson, author and founder of Ethical Markets Media, said the transition away from last century's fossil-fuel based economy is shifting very rapidly toward solar energy.