Florida Solar Coalition Calls for Feed-in Tariffs Over RECs at PSC

By Paul Gipe


In comments filed September 5, 2008 with the Florida Public Service Commission, the Florida Solar Coalition called for a system of Renewable Energy Payments (feed-in tariffs) instead of Renewable Energy Credits. The Florida Solar Coalition is comprised Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA), the Vote Solar Initiative and The Solar Alliance.

The filing in the Florida PSC’s hearing on proposed rules governing the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard noted that in the “FSC’s opinion, the use of RECs is not the best or the most cost-effective means of developing the solar energy market in Florida. A renewable energy payment program which establishes a fixed $/kWh payment pursuant to a long-term contract available to residential and commercial customers and renewable developers is preferred. Further, performance-based incentives coupled with net metering for photovoltaic systems allows customers to finance their systems by locking in their energy rates and giving much needed assistance with the capital cost of solar renewable systems. Both of these incentive programs provide benefits directly to the electric end-user and, because they are programmatically simpler, are less expensive to establish and administer than a REC market.”

The comments marked a departure for solar advocacy groups because previously Vote Solar and the Solar Alliance had supported REC trading markets over the more direct approach of feed-in tariffs. Florida has become a battleground between supporters of renewable energy derivatives and proponents of renewable energy payments.