South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard’s latest rant defies logic.
Stoddard, who is both a vocal solar-energy advocate and an FIU professor, attacked our partnership that adds a 1.4-megawatt commercial-scale solar array at FIU and gives students at his university hands-on research opportunities that will prove invaluable to their careers and the solar industry’s future.
Stoddard also consistently gets his facts wrong. He claims that his home’s solar panels save our customers money by feeding excess power to the grid. What he neglects to mention is that FPL’s customers pay him full retail — not wholesale rates for his power, while also subsidizing Stoddard’s fixed costs to use the electric grid.
It astounds me that his hostility to all things FPL would extend to a research facility that will generate both emissions-free electricity for our community and important data for the continued expansion of solar power in our state. This innovative project also develops a strong workforce and supports our community’s economic goals.
No one has done more to advance solar energy in Florida than FPL, and this year alone we are cost-effectively tripling our solar portfolio with the addition of three new solar-energy centers. We support all solar as long as it treats all customers fairly, and we’re proud of our partnership with FIU and the positive impact it will have on Florida’s future.
Buck Martinez, senior director, Office of Clean Energy, Florida Power & Light Co., Juno Beach