Power Companies and Alternative Energy Sources

06/06/07 Brandon Martin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

The state Public Service Commission yesterday denied a proposal by Florida Power and Light to build a coal-fired power plant within seventy miles of the Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve, citing adverse effects of coal plants on the environment. In light of this, WMNF's Brandon Martin discovers what Florida's electrical utility companies are doing to promote usage of alternative sources of energy.

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said Miko Villefana of Florida Power and Light. He said that FPL's main reason to seek these diverse energy resources was to avoid price fluctuations of a certain energy source--say, natural gas--in the event of a crisis--say, Hurricane Katrina.

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In seeking to diversify, they put forward the idea of a cleaner coal-powered plant. It would seem that utility companies like Florida Power and Light would do research to find more efficient and environmentally-friendly technologies, but utility companies don't usually contain research and development sectors; they only use the technology that's out there, developed by companies that are devoted to research.

Now considering this, what are Florida's power companies doing to promote usage of alternative sources of energy?

[ACT:] Holly Binns of Environment Florida [ACT:]

The Sunshine Energy program is a similar program run by Florida Power and Light.

She also said that power companies do have different options when it comes to meeting the demand for electricity.

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Cherie Jacobs of Progress Energy talked about her company's alternative energy intitiatives.

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Among those efforts are a hydrogen-based curriculum for schoolchildren, a number of hydrogen-powered vehicles on loan from Ford for Progress Energy's use, and solar cells powering an assisted living facility in Largo and the Welcome Center at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park.

Florida Power and Light is re-examining the entire plan for that power plant, but, as Miko Villefana says, any new plans for that plant are likely not to involve alternative sources of energy.

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Holly Binns acknowledged this fact as well.

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And so does Jacobs from Progress Energy.

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Nevertheless, Congress Bill 969, which will be voted on in the House next week, will require a percentage of electricity generated by a given power company to come from renewable sources.

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In the mean time, you can personally use renewable energy to power your home or business.

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[A representative from TECO could not be reached for comment in time for broadcast.]

For WMNF, this is Brandon Martin.

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