The Florida House of Representatives has approved H.B.7229, a controversial bill designed to increase the state's renewable energy supply.
The measure would permit utilities to pass along to customers the costs of renewable energy projects, without full review by regulators, according to the Sun-Sentinel. Utilities would also receive an additional 0.5% profit margin for projects above the highest profit level they are currently allowed to receive.
Opponents claim the bill would subject ratepayers to an unfair cost burden during challenging economic times. Proponents claim the bill would help the state's economy and pointed out that the state legislature already permits utilities to pass along costs to customers for new nuclear plants.
The bill also eliminates renewable portfolio standards and provides insufficient measures to help independent power producers and reduce major investor-owned utilities' control of the state's renewable energy development, said Michael Dobson, president of the Florida Renewable Energy Producers Association, according to Sunshine State News.
‘It's a start, but I don't think we're going to have a long-term, sustainable, renewable energy industry [from this bill],’ Dobson told Sunshine State News. ‘I don't think that we should pass this bill under the illusion that we created a renewable energy industry in the state of Florida.’