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Solar Companies Want More Time to Comment on Carbon Emissions Plan

Michael Mazengarb/Flickr

Seventeen solar companies from around the state sent a letter asking the Florida Public Service Commission to extend its public comment period on a federal plan to cut carbon emissions. 

The PSC announced Aug. 8 would be the last day to comment on the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA's Clean Power Plan.

In June, the EPA announced they plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector.

The Florida Public Service Commission or PSC sent a memo to stakeholders on July 10 requesting public comment on the proposed EPA rules.

Spokesperson Cindy Muir said the PSC chose Aug. 8 because the EPA is asking for all of its comment by October.

“It was a date that was just chosen in order to give our staff time to be thoughtful, deliberate and more conclusive in their comments to our commissioners,” she said.

But, some members of the state’s solar energy industry claim that doesn’t give them enough time to explain how solar can play a role in Florida’s plan to cut emissions.

Bill Johnson is president of Brilliant Harvest, a solar company based out of Sarasota. He signed the letter.

Johnson said solar is a zero-emission technology and reduces infrastructure costs.

“We’re saying look, there are viable economically competitive on their own without any rebates or anything else,” he said. “Solar technology today can be competitive with grid-supplied electricity and from that perspective it totally fits with the federal push to reduce carbon emissions and stuff.”

Spokesperson Muir said the PSC will still consider comments even after the Aug. 8 deadline, but she could not say for how much longer after the date.

States have until June 2016 to submit their finalized plans to the EPA.