Florida Power and Light – NextEra Energy is now about to be more anti-competitive, and rate payers are going to feel it.
In other markets, that are not cornered by the incumbent utility,
the path to solar project developments is made economically attractive
in multiple ways. One such way includes LSE’s (Load Serving Entities)
paying an ACP (Alternative Compliance Payment) that basically mandates
that for every unit of emissions the LSE produces, they owe $X amount.
Its governance is different by jurisdiction, however the one thing that
all utilities have in common is that in their generation mix they
usually emit C02 somewhere and are thus obligated to pay into the fund.
FPL’s president is now stating that “Nobody is going to want to put
money in a project where there’s no path to cost recovery, it does not
pay today but I believe over time if we don’t address [lowering
greenhouse gas emissions], you’re going to end up paying a higher cost”.
He’s talking to you, the rate payer, not me, the solar project
developer. If you–the rate payer are ready to prop up this monopoly
in the name of renewable energy that’s great! Its all fine and dandy,
but its a free market–right? Where there is competition there are
lower prices, right?
He continued, “We should be able to compete in that space as well as anybody else
and frankly, make money at. I’m not afraid. It will be more competitive
but we operate in other states where it is competitive and we’ve proven
that we can compete.”
Yes. What he means is that the entrenched lobbyists have gained
special exemptions that allow them to develop projects while they also
write the rules. An example is that 25 Megawatt array in DeSoto county
Florida which I toured in March. The back story is that the land was to
be used for a nuclear plant–but met opposition from residents, and
the proposed technology (at the time) was a threat to wetlands.
No problem–for FPL, just amend the future land use to designate
the zoning as EGF (Electrical Generating Facility)–specifically for
solar, build it on land zoned agricultural–which eventually sunsets
to EGF–and build away!
Of the 11 issues Mr. Olivera is handling before the Florida Public
Service Commission he states “There is a whole range of things that can
happen that may not necessarily be good for our customers or for our
company, what we’re asking for is … fair treatment.”
Us too, Mr. Olivera, us too.