Don’t let utilities block the sun, vote ‘no’ on Amendment 1
Amendment 1 is funded by Florida’s big utilities to protect their monopoly markets and limit customer-owned solar. It paves the way for barriers that would penalize solar customers. Worse, it misleads Florida voters by promising rights and protections that Florida citizens already have.
Florida has the most solar energy potential east of the Mississippi, yet isn’t a leader on solar power. Vote YES on Amendment 4 to lower bills and allow solar energy to flourish in Florida.
By Amory B. Lovins
(Editor’s note: this piece originally appeared in Roll Call on Nov. 9, 2009, in a slightly different form.)
“In his remarks at the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen in December, President Obama did say (to my delight) that climate solutions advance both prosperity and security, but he hadn’t time to rebut in detail the “sign error”—the widespread fallacy that climate solutions are intrinsically an economic burden.
Now that the post-Copenhagen dust has settled and it’s time to refocus on what we should be doing and get back to work, here are eight convenient truths to consider and share about climate and energy.” Read the Eight Convenient Truths >>>
Solar Source installs 30-kW solar array at LEGOLAND with funding from Tampa Electric’s Renewable Energy Program.
Largo, FL – Solar Source installed a 30-kW solar panel array at LEGOLAND Florida’s Imagination Zone with funding from Tampa Electric’s Renewable Energy program. LEGOLAND took the array to the next level, opening a solar power exhibit featuring an interactive 6-foot LEGO Earth model.
Solar Source mounted multi-crystalline panels to the roof of the Imagination Zone: a hands-on learning & activity center in the theme park.
The new LEGO Earth exhibit demonstrates how solar technology works and allows visitors to manipulate the panels to understand how they generate solar electricity. The solar energy generated on the rooftop powers an interactive exhibit inside of the Imagination Zone where guests can interact with model communities made out of LEGOs.
“We are proud to put our technology on display to increase exposure and provide educational opportunities for children and their parents,” said Rick Gilbert, Vice President of Solar Source.
LEGOLAND is not the first theme park that Solar Source has worked with; for instance they installed a solar water heating system for Disney Parks. Solar Source has a history of working with public and private partners, such as the City of St. Petersburg, Lowry Park Zoo, and Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) to provide solar power installations that not only produce electricity, but also educate the public on the benefits of clean, renewable energy.
“It’s fitting that some of TECO’s renewable energy “blocks” were built with LEGO bricks,” said Gilbert. “They serve two purposes: producing electricity, and enhancing awareness.”
Tampa Electric funded the LEGOLAND project as a part of their Renewable Energy program that gives customers the option to purchase “blocks” of renewable energy. Located in Lakeland, LEGOLAND Florida is the largest LEGOLAND Park in the world. The iconic “LEGO” bricks encourage children to explore their imagination and challenge their creativity.
According to the American Solar Energy Industry, U.S. solar capacity has quadrupled in the last four years – growing 418 percent from 2010-2014. The U.S. installed 1,330 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) in the first quarter of 2014, up 79 percent over Q1 2013.
Headquartered in Largo, Florida Solar Source (Constructive Resource, Inc. dba Solar Source) is licensed solar electrical, and general contracting firm with additional locations in Ontario, Canada and New Jersey. Solar Source specializes in industrial, commercial, and residential projects including photovoltaic (PV), solar water heating and pool heating. Projects include the first rooftop megawatt (MW) PV system in Florida, the largest PV system in Cuba at Guantanamo Naval Base, the largest solar pool heater in the world, in Mexico and solar heating systems for the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia and Athens, Greece. Solar Source is also the founding entity of Solar Source Institute, a licensed, accredited educational facility that provides solar training for the construction industry.
Solar Power World’s Top 250 Solar Contractors for 2013
We’re On The List!
Solar Power World magazine recently ranked Solar Source among the top solar contractors in North America.
Solar Power World, the industry’s leading source for technology, development and installation news, recently unveiled the 2013 Top 250 Solar Contractors list. The list ranks applicants according to influence in the residential, commercial and utility solar-installation markets.
Solar Source is the #1 residential solar contractor in the entire Southeast!
Largo, Fla. – A few years back, as the solar industry started to bloom, Solar Source (No. 103) was getting a lot of calls. “We were getting inquiries from electricians, plumbers, residential contractors and others,” says Rick Gilbert, Solar Source’s vice president. “We decided we should just put everyone into one classroom.”
The response to the company’s one-day classes was so overwhelming, Solar Source started its own institute in 2007. Since then, it has stayed true to its mission to educate and train architects, engineers, builders-developers, electrical and solar contractors — and ultimately all contractors that touch the solar industry. In the classroom, online and with hands-on labs, the Solar Source Institute’s training course covers everything from solar photovoltaic and solar-installer training to renewable-energy education, sales- and-marketing and grid-tied installation with battery back-up. Full Article >>>
Solar installation companies and contractors build solar electric systems, solar pool heating systems and solar hot water systems at every scale – residential, commercial and utility.
Many types of companies install solar systems. The primary industry begins with solar contractors, and then branches out to electrical contractors and plumbing contractors. General contractors and roofing contractors are also involved in solar installations. Because solar PV is electrical and solar hot water is plumbing-related, the industry sees a lot of participation from plumbing and electrical contractors. Full Article >>>
As a solar contractor, I was dismayed to hear disparaging comments about green energy during the Denver debate. I’d like to set the record straight.
Let’s be honest: We are not dealing with a level playing field. Oil companies have enjoyed rich subsidies for more than 100 years. The first coal subsidy dates back to the late 1700s.
Mitt Romney’s statement, “In one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world… that’s about 50 years’ worth of what oil and gas receives,” is false. Actually, the clean energy investment took place over several years. The tax breaks that oil companies receive are different from the loan guarantees, grants and R&D provided through the stimulus. Only a portion of the money went to solar and wind; it was also used for energy efficiency, environmental cleanup and improvements to our power lines. Unlike tax breaks for oil companies, the loan guarantees are repaid with interest. In fact, Tesla just announced they would be making their payment early.
Florida lacks a comprehensive renewable energy policy
In Florida, third party purchases (known as PPAs) are prohibited.
Florida Investor Owned Utilities are guaranteed a profit of 10 percent.
The Florida Public Service Commission states that it is in the “public interest” to limit competition and grant electric power monopolies.
The essential rationale behind this argument is that IF customers generate their own power, THEN the utilities will have to charge other users more money so that they can keep up their 10 percent profit. We all know this is ridiculous, and in fact, 22 other states agree, and allow some form of solar leasing, or third party power purchases.
Founded in 1984 and based in Largo, Solar Source has led the solar charge for over 30 years. We have installed over 30,000 solar systems in that time and continue to grow rapidly. These installations range in size and complexity from small residential systems to large-scale commercial projects.
As the leading solar contractor in the state of Florida, we have also established Solar Source Institute, an accredited school with which we conduct training for our own staff as well as other licensed contractors (including solar, electrical, and roofing) to teach best practices and issue certifications of competency.
When you choose Solar Source to perform your solar installation you’re hiring a company with unrivaled experience that is able to deliver a solution that suits your specific needs, has a maximum return on investment, with trouble-free performance for many years.
We maintain a consistent A rating Angie’s List, BBB and many other consumer ratings sites, and we encourage you to check our reputation. Providing you with the absolute best in solar energy is our constant goal.
Before making the switch, a lot of people are hesitant about transitioning to solar energy. If you were one of these people, what were you worried about? Additionally, how has your experience with solar stacked up to your preconceptions? Let us know here!
Though it sounds hard to believe, the cost of solar panels have fallen 99 percent since 1977! If you were an early adopter of solar energy, what's the price difference between your first solar panels and those being sold today?