Business energy advocacy group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) lauded the Florida Legislature on May 3 for passing Senate Bill 90, Renewable Energy Source Devices, which provides tax incentives to commercial and industrial ratepayers that buy and install solar energy systems. Residential customer-generators already have those incentives.
The Senate approved SB-90 by a 34-0 vote on April 28, and the House approved it unanimously on May 3 by a 118-00 vote.
The legislation implements the Amendment 4 ballot initiative passed by Florida voters in the statewide primary in August 2016. It passed with 73 percent of the vote – well above the required 60 percent necessary to adopt an amendment to the state Constitution.
“Florida has long been a market ripe for advanced energy growth, and Amendment 4 showed that advanced energy growth is what the voters want,” said Maria Robinson, associate director of Energy Policy and Analysis for AEE. “By passing this bill to implement Amendment 4, the legislature has removed a critical barrier to growth, allowing for more … customers to enjoy the benefits of advanced energy options like solar power, and spurring advanced energy companies to grow their businesses….”
“We would like to thank Representative Ray Rodrigues [R-76th District] and Senator Jeff Brandes [R-52nd District] for listening to Floridians who have once again made their voices heard on energy policy by contacting their elected officials to ask for a clean implementation bill,” said Tory Perfetti ,[chairman] of Floridians for Solar Choice.“ A clean implementation bill for Amendment 4 will be a win for good energy policy for this great state, its business community, and all of its citizens.”
In the runup to the election, the advocacy group had said, “In addition to helping customers lock in energy cost savings, and reducing pollution for a more sustainable energy future, Amendment 4 will encourage solar companies to move into Florida, creating new jobs that support the local economy. The solar industry is creating jobs 20 times faster than the overall economy. The vast majority of those jobs are living-wage opportunities that cannot be outsourced, keeping energy dollars right here at home. It’s a win-win for the whole state.
The House-passed version of the measure now goes back to the Senate for concurrence before moving on to Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) for his signature. AEE said, “It’s uncertain what timing will be at this point, however given unanimous passage in both chambers, we do expect this bill to cross the finish line before the end of session (which has been extended to May 8 for budget passage only). The tax incentives would begin in 2018 and extend for 20 years.