Solar Energy: Is the Sunshine state a misnomer?

2/4/16

Are Florida’s policies lagging behind other states because they do not permit unrestricted 3rd party solar power? Should we be able to access solar power however and wherever we want? Or does Florida need to provide consumer protection and oversight in pricing the product and maintaining the safety of 3rd party systems? Do solar-powered roof systems need to meet certain standards for safety and protection during hurricanes?

Nationally, Florida ranks 13th in the amount of solar energy generated. There is general agreement that we need more solar power, but varying opinions about how to regulate it.  Major players, including our Supreme Court and State Legislature, are embroiled in solar energy issues.

Our panel of experts will examine the issues from different sides. See how you can weigh in!


PANEL: 

Mike Antheil, Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA) and the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy (FARE)

Mike Antheil is a renewable energy policy and finance expert. Mike currently serves as executive director of both the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA) and the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy (FARE). Mike is also a partner in Green Asset Finance, LLC, a boutique energy finance firm. He is a founding member of Floridians for Solar Choice, a ballot initiative to remove barriers to rooftop solar, which is set to be included as an amendment in the 2016 election. Mike is an avid outdoorsman, and lives in Boyton Beach, Florida, with his wife, Amy, and his three kids, Zack, Jack, and Katie.

Sal Nuzzo, VP Policy and Director of the Center for Economic Prosperity, The James Madison Institute

Sal has spent his career engaged in the public arena – as a consultant, business executive, and non-profit administrator. For more than a decade, he served in policy consulting roles with MGT of America and Evergreen Solutions. Sal earned his B.S. in economics with a concentration in Public Policy from Florida State University while serving as an assistant legislative analyst with the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA).

J.L. “Buck”  Martinez, Sr. Director of Clean Energy, Florida Power & Light

J.L. “Buck” Martinez oversees the Office of Clean Energy at FPL, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, where his responsibilities include identifying and originating clean energy opportunities in the state to promote visibility, commitment, and economic development.  Most recently, Mr. Martinez led the Company’s efforts in the development of three large solar projects and three large combined cycle natural gas facilities.

Ed Strobel, Sunshine Solar Services, Inc

Ed Strobel holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tulane University and an MBA in Marketing and Finance.  His company, Sunshine Solar Services, Inc., is a leader in on-grid solar systems in the Hurricane Zone as well as off-grid hybrid solar-diesel-battery based systems in multi-state and country projects. He just finished building a home in Fort Lauderdale that produces more energy than it needs, is almost self-sufficient for water, and is engineered to withstand 200MPH winds while meeting the tough aesthetic requirements of a home in the historic district.

MODERATOR:
Rosemary O’Hara, Sun Sentinel, Editorial page editor.

A University of Florida graduate, Ms O’Hara has worked at several newspapers, including the Miami Herald, Cincinnati Enquirer and Tampa Tribune, where she also was editorial page editor. She is a director of Association of Opinion Journalists and a four-time juror of the Pulitzer Prizes.

FEB.  BREAKFAST SPONSOR: Broward Health