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Utilities want more opportunity to recover costs from customers

By Regan McCarthy

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-985267.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Florida's utility companies say they'd like to move forward with solar energy projects, but as Regan McCarthy reports the legislature first needs to make some changes in the laws.

Florida Power and Light spokesman Steve Sim says the company is prepared to build solar energy projects that would produce up to 500 mega-watts of power. But he says the company is waiting for the legislature to pass what he calls "enabling" legislation. Public Service Commissioner Ronald Brise says it's a proposal he hopes lawmakers will adopt.

"I do think that there is some benefit in renewables not only for cost over the long term but for potential stability within our grid.

FPL's Sim says right now the cost of building the solar facility is higher than the amount of money FPL can get back. He says ideal legislation would either allow utilities to fully recover the cost or require that a certain percent of energy comes from renewable sources.