In a fairly unprecedented move, Green Cove Springs, a town in Florida has passed an ordinance to halve the net metering rate that solar customers receive.
In the vast majority of net metering cases, any changes to compensation are made at the state level, with cities, especially cities with a population under 10,000 like Green Cove Springs, seldom taking the responsibility into their own hands.
As it stands, the ordinance lowers customers’ net metering export credit from the current rate of eight cents per kWh to four cents per kWh. Local solar advocates have denounced the ordinance, saying that lowering the credit will throw current customer payback calculations into disarray and will dissuade others from investing in solar down the line.
According to local press, the city of Green Cove Springs’ representative to Florida Municipal Power Agency’s (FMPA) Board of Directors and Executive Committee addressed these arguments by sharing the opinion that solar incentives, at the local, state, and national level, should be removed altogether.
The representative, who is not affiliated with FMPA backed this claim by citing the amount of land required for projects, waste and emissions related to mining, and concerns over decommissioning procedure as aspects of solar that citizens have to “turn a blind eye to,” despite the first and third points not applying to rooftop solar.
In response, FMPA has shared with pv magazine that city representative’s opinions regarding renewable energy are not reflective of the views and opinions of FMPA, adding that the agency strongly supports renewables and is looking to bring more on-line.
As it stands now, the ordinance only applies to Green Cove Springs, though there are concerns among local renewable energy advocates that the decision could create a domino effect where other neighboring towns follow suit by stripping away their incentives.
EDIT 6/3/21: This article has been amended to clarify the relationship between the city of Green Cove Springs’ representative to FMPA’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee and FMPA, as the original article referred to the representative as an employee of FMPA. We apologize for the error.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What utility serves the city of Green Cove? Will it make special bill adjustments for less than 10,000 customers? Perhaps the announcement will be enough to scare off solar companies from that neck of the woods. They will simply seek greener pastures to sell rooftop solar.
Total self consumables system with batteries is the answer. Just keep the city of Green Cove spring Florida from selling but the minimum to your house so all you have is a customer service bill. This is awful.
Green Cove Springs officials: Enjoy your ever-strengthening hurricanes and floods. The rest of us will take responsibility to do our part to reduce CO2 emissions and help reduce the damage to our world.
“citing the amount of land required for projects, waste and emissions related to mining, and concerns over decommissioning procedure”
So, I assume the representative for Florida Municipal Power Agency is in favor of outright banning coal and natural gas based on these same criteria.
They should have grandfathered existing customers in. Placed the new laws for new installs. As far as Rate of return goes those rates are incredibly low. The ROR has to be like 15 years anyway at .08 per kwh
Once again, for the 10 millionth time: Net metering is NOT a subsidy.
Yeah. Actually it is a subsidy. Nothing that this town’s representatives said about reasons for lowering net metering rates is remotely accurate, but true net metering means paying people the same amount for putting power into the grid that you charge them for taking power off of it. That means a reseller of power paying its retail price to a supplier of power. Wholesale and retail prices are different for a reason. Utilities don’t shoot out of the ground like mushrooms. Their grids cost money to build and operate.
There is a market for the power that utilities buy and when you make them pay more than the market price to certain suppliers, that’s a subsidy. And a regressive one, too.
It’s also inefficient. It makes utilities – and thus other ratepayers – subsidize expensive rooftop installations of solar panels in non-ideal locations like the shady suburb where I live. The same money would displace far more carbon if it were instead spent to subsidize grid-scale solar farms in highly productive locations. The Mojave, Sonora, and Great Basin deserts alone could provide more power than the US uses in a year without covering a large portion of them. Parts of Texas also work. In these places, panels can be installed at a lower cost per panel and those panels will produce more than twice as much power per year than if they were put on the roofs where I see many installed (partially shaded, not tilted at a good angle, not oriented towards the south, and – of course – with 0-axis tracking).
I think it would be cool to have a solar and battery system on my home too, but I don’t see any reason why others should have to pay to subsidize my off-grid aspirations at the expense of more efficiently invested grid solar development.
All of that said, failing to grandfather existing systems is completely unfair after investments have been made in reliance of previous net-metering rates
Those people should be jailed for conspiracy to commit genocide on future generations and ecosystems.
I am confused. The TOWN is setting rate for a regional UTILITY???
How does that work?
Utility companies are not paying for the pollution that they are expelling into the atmosphere. They believe it is a dumping ground and should not charged or taxed for this assault. They should be working with local businesses and the public to install solar with batteries to alleviate their peaker and baseload carbon footprint or be taxed on the carbon they admit. Working with locally distributed solar power will reduce new fossil fuel plants coming online and reduce their existing power plants emissions…..
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.