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Customers pay an additional $9.75 per month. There is no difference in the power delivered to the resident.
Why would a customer pay more for the same? The extra money goes toward the purchase of renewable resources (and nominal administrative costs).
A year ago I was tempted to drop out of the program. FPL contracts thru Green Mountain to purchase the energy purchased thru this program. The 2004 report from Green Mountain stated that the power used in the Florida program came 90% from Biomass and 10% from Wind. The high Biomass component bothered me as that is most likely incineration / landfill gas burning. I noted *no* Solar power to for the Sunshine State. I had also seen this site urging customers to boycott Green Mountain. FPL itself has downplayed Solar as an option stating that:
"Though nicknamed the “sunshine state,” Florida has too much cloud cover to make large-scale solar power production a cost effective alternative."
I decided to stay in the program and am encouraged to see progress in the areas I was concerned about a year ago. The 2005 Green Mountain report lists the Florida sources of power as 56% Biomass and 44% Wind. Moving from 10% to 44% in one year is a nice improvement. (For comparison, the normal Florida power supply sources are something like 1.9% Renewable, 51.7% Coal, 2.8% Oil, 15.8% Natural Gas, 19.8% Nuclear and 8% Other.)
FPL is also building a 250 kilowatt Solar Array in Sarasota. This array will have 1200 panels and offset 680,000 pounds of CO2 each year.
There are about 25,000 consumers in the program at this time who have offset 82,000+ tons of CO2. This is one of the same goals we users of biodiesel have. For every 10,000 customers who sign up for Sunshine Energy, an additional 150 kilowatts of solar will be built in Florida. This news item from FPL notes:
The program was recently ranked No. 4 in the country for sales volume and No. 6 for total customer participation by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Additionally, the program was recognized by the U.S. EPA and DOE as a 2005 Green Power Leadership Award Recipient.
If you're an FPL customer, do your own research to see if you think this program is a positive. Comments welcome! If you do decide to join you can choose to use the code 0129HPU at www.FPLSunshineEnergy.com to get a $20 Amazon.com certificate. (I will get one also).
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