Florida Senate - 2011                                     SB 282
       By Senator Bennett
       21-00402-11                                            2011282__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to renewable energy; providing
    3         legislative findings; providing definitions; requiring
    4         each electric utility in the state to collect from
    5         each residential, commercial, and industrial customer
    6         a designated monthly systems charge; requiring the
    7         electric utilities to deposit collected funds into the
    8         Sustainable and Renewable Energy Policy Trust Fund;
    9         creating a direct-support organization for the Florida
   10         Energy and Climate Commission; providing for a board
   11         of directors of the direct-support organization;
   12         providing for appointment of members and terms of
   13         office; requiring a contract between the commission
   14         and the direct-support organization; providing for the
   15         use of the deposited funds; requiring an annual audit;
   16         amending s. 366.91, F.S.; requiring that a purchase
   17         contract offered to producers of renewable energy
   18         contain payment provisions for energy and capacity
   19         based upon a public utility’s equivalent cost-recovery
   20         rate for certain clean energy projects rather than the
   21         utility’s full avoided costs; amending s. 377.806,
   22         F.S.; revising the expiration date for the Solar
   23         Energy System Incentives Program; extending the period
   24         of time for which residents of the state are eligible
   25         to receive rebates for specified solar energy systems;
   26         revising the rebate amount for eligible solar energy
   27         systems; providing a schedule for rebate amounts based
   28         on the total wattage of the system; amending s.
   29         570.954, F.S.; correcting a reference; providing an
   30         effective date.
   32  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   34         Section 1. (1) The Legislature finds that there is a need
   35  for a funding mechanism to support and finance a comprehensive
   36  energy policy, especially as it relates to sustainable and
   37  renewable energy, energy conservation, and energy efficiencies.
   38  With such a stable funding mechanism, this state will realize
   39  important long-term goals, including:
   40         (a) Increased independence from foreign oil;
   41         (b) Ensuring an adequate and reliable energy supply;
   42         (c) The promotion of economic growth and new investment in
   43  the creation of high-paying jobs;
   44         (d) The mitigation adverse environmental impacts and
   45  promotion of stewardship of the environment;
   46         (e) Leading the nation in energy conservation and energy
   47  efficiencies through needed support for implementing and
   48  marketing the products of renewable energy research and
   49  innovation; and
   50         (f) Contributing to a sustainable and renewable energy
   51  policy for the state.
   52         (2) As used in this section, the term:
   53         (a) “Commission” means the Florida Energy and Climate
   54  Commission.
   55         (b) “Direct-support organization” means an organization
   56  that is:
   57         1. A Florida corporation, not for profit, incorporated
   58  under chapter 617, Florida Statutes, and approved by the
   59  Department of State;
   60         2. Organized and operated exclusively to obtain funds; to
   61  request and receive grants, gifts, and bequests of moneys; to
   62  acquire, receive, hold, invest, and administer in its own name
   63  securities, funds, or property; and to make expenditures to
   64  support the achievement of the goals stated under subsection (1)
   65  and to increase public awareness of and support for the
   66  Sustainable and Renewable Energy Trust Fund; and
   67         3. Determined by the commission to be operating in a manner
   68  consistent with the goals stated under subsection (1).
   69         (c) “Electric utility” means any municipal electric
   70  utility, investor-owned electric utility, or rural electric
   71  cooperative that owns, maintains, or operates an electric
   72  generation, transmission, or distribution system within the
   73  state.
   74         (d) “Energy conservation” and “energy efficiencies” means
   75  any activity that facilitates and promotes the use of cost
   76  effective energy conservation, energy-demand management, and
   77  renewable energy technologies.
   78         (e) “Renewable energy” means solar photovoltaic energy,
   79  solar thermal energy, geothermal energy, ocean thermal energy,
   80  wave or tidal energy, wind, fuel cells, landfill gas, hydrogen
   81  production and hydrogen conversion technologies, low-emission
   82  advanced biomass conversion technologies, alternative fuels used
   83  for electricity generation, including ethanol, biodiesel, or
   84  other fuel produced in this state and derived from agricultural
   85  produce, algae, food waste, or waste vegetable oil, usable
   86  electricity from combined heat and power systems that have waste
   87  heat recovery systems, thermal storage systems, and other energy
   88  resources and emerging technologies that have significant
   89  potential for commercialization and that do not involve the
   90  combustion of coal, petroleum or petroleum products, municipal
   91  solid waste, or nuclear fission.
   92         (3) Beginning January 1, 2012, each electric utility shall
   93  collect from each residential, commercial, and industrial
   94  electric utility customer a monthly charge of 25 cents as a
   95  systems benefits charge. The electric utilities shall deposit
   96  the collected funds into the Sustainable and Renewable Energy
   97  Policy Trust Fund.
   98         (4)(a) The Florida Energy and Climate Commission shall
   99  establish a direct-support organization to provide assistance,
  100  funding, and support for the commission in carrying out its
  101  mission. This section governs the creation, use, powers, and
  102  duties of the direct-support organization.
  103         (b) The direct-support organization shall be governed by a
  104  board of directors. The board of directors shall consist of nine
  105  members, as follows:
  106         1. The chair of the Florida Public Service Commission, or
  107  his or her designee.
  108         2. The Secretary of Environmental Protection, or his or her
  109  designee.
  110         3. Two members appointed by the Governor, both of whom are
  111  residential electric utility customers and one of whom has
  112  experience relating to low-income housing concerns.
  113         4. Two members appointed by the President of the Senate.
  114         5. Two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of
  115  Representatives.
  116         6. One member appointed by the Chief Financial Officer who
  117  has experience related to renewable energy business or
  118  commercial investments.
  119         (c) The term of office of the board members shall be 3
  120  years. The terms of the initial appointees shall be for 1 year,
  121  2 years, or 3 years in order to achieve staggered terms. A
  122  member may be reappointed when his or her term expires. The head
  123  of the commission or his or her designee shall serve as an ex
  124  officio member of the board of directors.
  125         (d) Members must be residents of this state. A majority of
  126  the members must be actively involved with sustainable and
  127  renewable energy systems and highly knowledgeable about the
  128  commission, its research, and its mission. A member may be
  129  removed by the Governor, the President of the Senate, the
  130  Speaker of the House of Representatives, or the Chief Financial
  131  Officer for cause and with the approval of a majority of the
  132  members of the board of directors. A vacancy shall be filled in
  133  the same manner as the initial appointment.
  134         (e) The direct-support organization shall operate under a
  135  written contract with the commission. The written contract must
  136  provide for:
  137         1. Certification by the commission that the direct-support
  138  organization is complying with the terms of the contract and is
  139  doing so consistent with the goals and purposes of the
  140  department and in the best interests of the state. This
  141  certification must be made annually and reported in the official
  142  minutes of a meeting of the direct-support organization.
  143         2. The reversion of moneys and property held by the direct
  144  support organization:
  145         a. To the commission, if the direct-support organization is
  146  no longer approved to operate for the commission or if the
  147  direct support organization ceases to exist; or
  148         b. To the state, if the commission ceases to exist.
  149         3. The disclosure of the material provisions of the
  150  contract and the distinction between the commission and the
  151  direct-support organization to donors of gifts, contributions,
  152  or bequests, including such disclosure on all promotional and
  153  fundraising publications.
  154         (f)1. The commission may permit the use of its property,
  155  facilities, and personal services by the direct-support
  156  organization, subject to this section.
  157         2. The commission may prescribe by contract any condition
  158  with which the direct-support organization must comply in order
  159  to use property, facilities, or personal services of the
  160  commission.
  161         3. The commission may not permit the use of its property,
  162  facilities, or personal services by any direct-support
  163  organization organized under this section which does not provide
  164  equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of
  165  race, color, national origin, gender, age, or religion.
  166         (g) Any transaction or agreement between the direct-support
  167  organization created by this section and another direct-support
  168  organization or other entity must be approved by the Governor.
  169         (h) All moneys received by the direct-support organization
  170  from federal and state grants, private contributions, and the
  171  Sustainable and Renewable Energy Policy Trust Fund shall be
  172  deposited into an account of the direct-support organization.
  173  The direct-support organization shall use the collected charges
  174  to support funding for sustainable and renewable energy
  175  projects, including, but not limited to, grants to provide
  176  funding in the following order of priority:
  177         1. Any backlog of approved rebate applications for the
  178  Solar Energy Systems Incentive Program.
  179         2. The implementation of innovation to market projects,
  180  with specific attention directed toward the number of in-state
  181  jobs created.
  182         3. Energy conservation and energy efficiency projects, with
  183  specific attention directed to projects for low-income housing,
  184  including rental units, rental homes, condominiums, and single
  185  family homes.
  186         (i)1. The fiscal year of the direct-support organization
  187  shall begin on July 1 of each year and end on June 30 of the
  188  following year.
  189         2. The direct-support organization shall submit to the
  190  commission its federal Internal Revenue Service Application for
  191  Recognition of Exemption form and its federal Internal Revenue
  192  Service Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax form.
  193         (j) The direct-support organization shall provide for an
  194  annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981, Florida
  195  Statutes.
  196         Section 2. Subsection (3) of section 366.91, Florida
  197  Statutes, is amended to read:
  198         366.91 Renewable energy.—
  199         (3) On or before January 1, 2006, each public utility must
  200  continuously offer a purchase contract to producers of renewable
  201  energy. The commission shall establish requirements relating to
  202  the purchase of capacity and energy by public utilities from
  203  renewable energy producers and may adopt rules to administer
  204  this section. The contract shall contain payment provisions for
  205  energy and capacity which are based upon the utility’s
  206  equivalent cost-recovery rate for projects constructed pursuant
  207  to s. 366.92(4) full avoided costs, as defined in s. 366.051;
  208  however, capacity payments are not required if, due to the
  209  operational characteristics of the renewable energy generator or
  210  the anticipated peak and off-peak availability and capacity
  211  factor of the utility’s avoided unit, the producer is unlikely
  212  to provide any capacity value to the utility or the electric
  213  grid during the contract term. Each contract must provide a
  214  contract term of at least 10 years. Prudent and reasonable costs
  215  associated with a renewable energy contract shall be recovered
  216  from the ratepayers of the contracting utility, without
  217  differentiation among customer classes, through the appropriate
  218  cost-recovery clause mechanism administered by the commission.
  219         Section 3. Subsection (1) and paragraph (b) of subsection
  220  (2) of section 377.806, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  221         377.806 Solar Energy System Incentives Program.—
  222         (1) PURPOSE.—The Solar Energy System Incentives Program is
  223  established within the commission to provide financial
  224  incentives for the purchase and installation of solar energy
  225  systems. Any resident of the state who purchases and installs a
  226  new solar energy system of 2 kilowatts or larger for a solar
  227  photovoltaic system, a solar energy system that provides at
  228  least 50 percent of a building’s hot water consumption for a
  229  solar thermal system, or a solar thermal pool heater, from July
  230  1, 2006, through June 30, 2016 2010, is eligible for a rebate on
  231  a portion of the purchase price of that solar energy system.
  233         (b) Rebate amounts.—The rebate amount shall be set at $2.50
  234  $4 per watt for the first year, $2 per watt for the second and
  235  third years, and $1.50 per watt for each subsequent year, based
  236  on the total wattage rating of the system. The maximum allowable
  237  rebate per solar photovoltaic system installation shall be as
  238  follows:
  239         1. Twenty thousand dollars for a residence.
  240         2. One hundred thousand dollars for a place of business, a
  241  publicly owned or operated facility, or a facility owned or
  242  operated by a private, not-for-profit organization, including
  243  condominiums or apartment buildings.
  244         Section 4. Subsection (3) of section 570.954, Florida
  245  Statutes, is amended to read:
  246         570.954 Farm-to-fuel initiative.—
  247         (3) The department shall coordinate with and solicit the
  248  expertise of the Florida Energy and Climate Commission state
  249  energy office within the Department of Environmental Protection
  250  when developing and implementing this initiative.
  251         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.