Florida Senate - 2010                                    SB 2404
       By Senator Bennett
       21-01537A-10                                          20102404__
    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 Office; providing for a board of directors of
   11         the direct-support organization; providing for
   12         appointment of members and terms of office; requiring
   13         a contract between the office and the direct-support
   14         organization; providing for the use of the deposited
   15         funds; requiring an annual audit; amending s. 366.91,
   16         F.S.; requiring that a purchase contract offered to
   17         producers of renewable energy contain payment
   18         provisions for energy and capacity based upon a public
   19         utility’s equivalent cost-recovery rate for certain
   20         clean energy projects rather than the utility’s full
   21         avoided costs; amending s. 377.806, F.S.; revising the
   22         expiration date for the Solar Energy System Incentives
   23         Program; extending the period of time for which
   24         residents of the state are eligible to receive rebates
   25         for specified solar energy systems; revising the
   26         rebate amount for eligible solar energy systems;
   27         providing a schedule for rebate amounts based on the
   28         total wattage of the system; providing an effective
   29         date.
   31  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   33         Section 1. (1) The Legislature finds that there is a need
   34  for a funding mechanism to support and finance a comprehensive
   35  energy policy, especially as it relates to sustainable and
   36  renewable energy, energy conservation, and energy efficiencies.
   37  With such a stable funding mechanism, this state will realize
   38  important long-term goals, including:
   39         (a) Increased independence from foreign oil;
   40         (b) Ensuring an adequate and reliable energy supply;
   41         (c) The promotion of economic growth and new investment in
   42  the creation of high-paying jobs;
   43         (d) The mitigation of adverse environmental impacts and
   44  promotion of stewardship of the environment;
   45         (e) Leading the nation in energy conservation and energy
   46  efficiencies through needed support for implementing and
   47  marketing the products of renewable energy research and
   48  innovation; and
   49         (f) Contributing to a sustainable and renewable energy
   50  policy for the state.
   51         (2) As used in this section, the term:
   52         (a) “Direct-support organization” means an organization
   53  that is:
   54         1. A Florida corporation, not for profit, incorporated
   55  under chapter 617, Florida Statutes, and approved by the
   56  Department of State;
   57         2. Organized and operated exclusively to obtain funds; to
   58  request and receive grants, gifts, and bequests of moneys; to
   59  acquire, receive, hold, invest, and administer in its own name
   60  securities, funds, or property; and to make expenditures to
   61  support the achievement of the goals stated under subsection (1)
   62  and to increase public awareness of and support for the
   63  Sustainable and Renewable Energy Trust Fund; and
   64         3. Determined by the office to be operating in a manner
   65  consistent with the goals stated under subsection (1).
   66         (b) “Electric utility” means any municipal electric
   67  utility, investor-owned electric utility, or rural electric
   68  cooperative that owns, maintains, or operates an electric
   69  generation, transmission, or distribution system within the
   70  state.
   71         (c) “Energy conservation” and “energy efficiencies” means
   72  any activity that facilitates and promotes the use of cost
   73  effective energy conservation, energy-demand management, and
   74  renewable energy technologies.
   75         (d) “Office” means the Florida Energy Office.
   76         (e) “Renewable energy” means solar photovoltaic energy,
   77  solar thermal energy, geothermal energy, ocean thermal energy,
   78  wave or tidal energy, wind, fuel cells, landfill gas, hydrogen
   79  production and hydrogen conversion technologies, low-emission
   80  advanced biomass conversion technologies, alternative fuels used
   81  for electricity generation, including ethanol, biodiesel, or
   82  other fuel produced in this state and derived from agricultural
   83  produce, algae, food waste, or waste vegetable oil, usable
   84  electricity from combined heat and power systems that have waste
   85  heat recovery systems, thermal storage systems, and other energy
   86  resources and emerging technologies that have significant
   87  potential for commercialization and that do not involve the
   88  combustion of coal, petroleum or petroleum products, municipal
   89  solid waste, or nuclear fission.
   90         (3) Beginning January 1, 2011, each electric utility shall
   91  collect from each residential, commercial, and industrial
   92  electric utility customer a monthly charge of 25 cents as a
   93  systems benefits charge. The electric utilities shall deposit
   94  the collected funds into the Sustainable and Renewable Energy
   95  Policy Trust Fund.
   96         (4)(a) The Florida Energy Office shall establish a direct
   97  support organization to provide assistance, funding, and support
   98  for the office in carrying out its mission. This section governs
   99  the creation, use, powers, and duties of the direct-support
  100  organization.
  101         (b) The direct-support organization shall be governed by a
  102  board of directors. The board of directors shall consist of nine
  103  members, as follows:
  104         1. The chair of the Florida Public Service Commission, or
  105  his or her designee.
  106         2. The Secretary of Environmental Protection, or his or her
  107  designee.
  108         3. Two members appointed by the Governor, both of whom are
  109  residential electric utility customers and one of whom has
  110  experience relating to low-income housing concerns.
  111         4. Two members appointed by the President of the Senate,
  112  both of whom are members of the Senate and one of whom is a
  113  member of the minority party.
  114         5. Two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of
  115  Representatives, both of whom are members of the House of
  116  Representatives and one of whom is a member of the minority
  117  party.
  118         6. One member appointed by the Chief Financial Officer who
  119  has experience related to renewable energy business or
  120  commercial investments.
  121         (b) The term of office of the board members shall be 3
  122  years, except those members of the Senate and the House of
  123  Representatives, who shall serve 2-year terms concurrent with
  124  the 2-year elected terms of House members. The terms of the
  125  initial appointees, except those members of the Senate and the
  126  House of Representatives, shall be for 1 year, 2 years, or 3
  127  years in order to achieve staggered terms. A member may be
  128  reappointed when his or her term expires. The head of the office
  129  or his or her designee shall serve as an ex officio member of
  130  the board of directors.
  131         (c) Members must be residents of this state. A majority of
  132  the members must be actively involved with sustainable and
  133  renewable energy systems and highly knowledgeable about the
  134  office, its research, and its mission. A member may be removed
  135  by the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the
  136  House of Representatives, or the Chief Financial Officer for
  137  cause and with the approval of a majority of the members of the
  138  board of directors. A vacancy shall be filled in the same manner
  139  as the initial appointment.
  140         (d) The direct-support organization shall operate under a
  141  written contract with the office. The written contract must
  142  provide for:
  143         1. Certification by the office that the direct-support
  144  organization is complying with the terms of the contract and is
  145  doing so consistent with the goals and purposes of the
  146  department and in the best interests of the state. This
  147  certification must be made annually and reported in the official
  148  minutes of a meeting of the direct-support organization.
  149         2. The reversion of moneys and property held by the direct
  150  support organization:
  151         a. To the office, if the direct-support organization is no
  152  longer approved to operate for the office or if the direct
  153  support organization ceases to exist; or
  154         b. To the state, if the office ceases to exist.
  155         3. The disclosure of the material provisions of the
  156  contract and the distinction between the office and the direct
  157  support organization to donors of gifts, contributions, or
  158  bequests, including such disclosure on all promotional and
  159  fundraising publications.
  160         (e)1. The office may permit the use of its property,
  161  facilities, and personal services by the direct-support
  162  organization, subject to this section.
  163         2. The office may prescribe by contract any condition with
  164  which the direct-support organization must comply in order to
  165  use property, facilities, or personal services of the office.
  166         3. The office may not permit the use of its property,
  167  facilities, or personal services by any direct-support
  168  organization organized under this section which does not provide
  169  equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of
  170  race, color, national origin, gender, age, or religion.
  171         (f) Any transaction or agreement between the direct-support
  172  organization created by this section and another direct-support
  173  organization or other entity must be approved by the Governor.
  174         (g) All moneys received by the direct-support organization
  175  from federal and state grants, private contributions, and the
  176  Sustainable and Renewable Energy Policy Trust Fund shall be
  177  deposited into an account of the direct-support organization.
  178  The direct-support organization shall use the collected charges
  179  to support funding for sustainable and renewable energy
  180  projects, including, but not limited to, grants to provide
  181  funding in the following order of priority:
  182         1. Any backlog of approved rebate applications for the
  183  Solar Energy Systems Incentive Program.
  184         2. The implementation of innovation to market projects,
  185  with specific attention directed toward the number of in-state
  186  jobs created.
  187         3. Energy conservation and energy efficiency projects, with
  188  specific attention directed to projects for low-income housing,
  189  including rental units, rental homes, condominiums, and single
  190  family homes.
  191         (h)1. The fiscal year of the direct-support organization
  192  shall begin on July 1 of each year and end on June 30 of the
  193  following year.
  194         2. The direct-support organization shall submit to the
  195  office its federal Internal Revenue Service Application for
  196  Recognition of Exemption form and its federal Internal Revenue
  197  Service Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax form.
  198         (i) The direct-support organization shall provide for an
  199  annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981, Florida
  200  Statutes.
  201         Section 2. Subsection (3) of section 366.91, Florida
  202  Statutes, is amended to read:
  203         366.91 Renewable energy.—
  204         (3) On or before January 1, 2006, each public utility must
  205  continuously offer a purchase contract to producers of renewable
  206  energy. The commission shall establish requirements relating to
  207  the purchase of capacity and energy by public utilities from
  208  renewable energy producers and may adopt rules to administer
  209  this section. The contract shall contain payment provisions for
  210  energy and capacity which are based upon the utility’s
  211  equivalent cost-recovery rate for projects constructed pursuant
  212  to s. 366.92(4) full avoided costs, as defined in s. 366.051;
  213  however, capacity payments are not required if, due to the
  214  operational characteristics of the renewable energy generator or
  215  the anticipated peak and off-peak availability and capacity
  216  factor of the utility’s avoided unit, the producer is unlikely
  217  to provide any capacity value to the utility or the electric
  218  grid during the contract term. Each contract must provide a
  219  contract term of at least 10 years. Prudent and reasonable costs
  220  associated with a renewable energy contract shall be recovered
  221  from the ratepayers of the contracting utility, without
  222  differentiation among customer classes, through the appropriate
  223  cost-recovery clause mechanism administered by the commission.
  224         Section 3. Subsection (1) and paragraph (b) of subsection
  225  (2) of section 377.806, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  226         377.806 Solar Energy System Incentives Program.—
  227         (1) PURPOSE.—The Solar Energy System Incentives Program is
  228  established within the commission to provide financial
  229  incentives for the purchase and installation of solar energy
  230  systems. Any resident of the state who purchases and installs a
  231  new solar energy system of 2 kilowatts or larger for a solar
  232  photovoltaic system, a solar energy system that provides at
  233  least 50 percent of a building’s hot water consumption for a
  234  solar thermal system, or a solar thermal pool heater, from July
  235  1, 2006, through June 30, 2015 2010, is eligible for a rebate on
  236  a portion of the purchase price of that solar energy system.
  238         (b) Rebate amounts.—The rebate amount shall be set at $2.50
  239  $4 per watt for the first year, $2 per watt for the second and
  240  third years, and $1.50 per watt for each subsequent year, based
  241  on the total wattage rating of the system. The maximum allowable
  242  rebate per solar photovoltaic system installation shall be as
  243  follows:
  244         1. Twenty thousand dollars for a residence.
  245         2. One hundred thousand dollars for a place of business, a
  246  publicly owned or operated facility, or a facility owned or
  247  operated by a private, not-for-profit organization, including
  248  condominiums or apartment buildings.
  249         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.