Florida Municipal Power Agency is trying to coordinate a $50 fixed fee to curb residential solar

Florida solar amendment

Yea, about that ….

According to the Energy and Policy Institute, the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) — a wholesale power agency owned by Florida’s municipal electric utilities — is trying to coordinate a $50 fixed monthly fee in a fairly transparent attempt to curb the growth of residential solar.

How transparent? Well, Jacob Williams, the FMPA’s general manager and CEO, said exactly that in a keynote address — streamed live on Facebook — to the FMPA board of directors.

FMPA’s Williams mentioned that effect in his keynote as a feature, noting that the “second benefit” of a $50 fixed fee is that it will make “these [solar] net metering customers go away.”

FMPA sells electricity to the municipal utilities, which serve 2.3 million Floridians in 31 cities across the state. The FMPA cannot set rates for each of the municipal utilities, but it has an influence on its members, EPI notes.

A South Florida FMPA member, Lake Worth Beach, is currently coordinating with the agency, according to a July 2019 utility update at a city commission meeting. Lake Worth Beach utility general manager Ed Liberty discussed his work with the FMPA consultant on rate changes. The communications strategy Lake Worth Beach discussed is similar to the one promoted by FMPA.

The EPI dives into just how negatively this could impact the state’s residence, especially low-income, low energy consumers.

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  • Mark McCain
    September 25, 2019 11:02:46

    FMPA is proud of the role it is playing providing clean, reliable and low-cost power. In fact, FMPA is in the process of adding nearly 400 MW of utility-scale solar by 2023, or approximately 15% of our capacity. In addition, we are working with our members on solar subscription programs to provide customers with low-cost, renewable energy options. This is the full story about how FMPA is coordinating an effort to expand solar.

    • Stephen
      October 2, 2019 16:43:50

      Not sure how penalizing solar users (who have made a substantial financial commitment to install net metered solar on their homes) can be seen as anything but an impediment to “providing clean, reliable and low-cost power.” Solar homeowners feed excess power back into the grid to be re-sold by FMPA members at a substantial mark up without capital outlay for its generation. Seems this solar penalty fee is more a function of using lobbying power to protect the electric generation industry’s turf than it is environmental consciousness.