Category Archives: Solar

Videos: toll road planning –E.D. Scott R. Koons & Ken Cornell @ NCFRPC 2019-05-23

Last Thursday, NCFRPC E.D. Scott R. Koons noted that Appointments to the task forces for each of the toll road corridors would start soon. Among the types of representatives that are supposed to be appointed, are environmental organizations (two of those listed in the bill are on record opposing it).

[Scott R. Koons, E.D., NCFRPC]
Scott R. Koons, E.D., NCFRPC

Koons also discussed approved funding for a hurricane evacuation study. Why, you may wonder, was the toll road bill, supposedly largely about hurricane evacuation, passed before that study was even started?

Ken Cornell of Alachua County noted “There’s a lot of election cycles before this is going to be done.” Indeed, a new governor could decline to implement this toll road boondoggle, and if enough elected officials on the task forces oppose it, that might even stop it. He also said:

[Planning, Ken Cornell, Alachua County]
Planning, Ken Cornell, Alachua County

Cornell asked for new Executive Committee members to get together before the next Council meeting,

So we can have some discussions at this Council like what we’re doing for Valdosta, and have a united front. Alachua County and I know many others will stand in support of this issue.

Suwannee Riverkeeper stands in support of the counties opposed to the toll roads.

Below are the WWALS videos from that North Central Florida Regional Planning Council meeting in Lake City, FL, with more details. Continue reading

Citizens for water against toll roads @ NCFRPC 2019-05-23

Update 2019-05-28: See also Videos: toll road planning –E.D. Scott R. Koons & Ken Cornell @ NCFRPC 2019-05-23.

Eight citizens from across the region spoke Thursday against the toll road boondoggle, at the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council meeting in Lake City, FL.

Below are links to each WWALS video of each speaker, followed by a WWALS video playlist.

See also Continue reading

NCFRPC Meeting, Lake City, FL 2019-05-23

There will be a meeting of the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council tonight in Lake City. Citizen Comments would be a good opportunity to ask what are they going to do to stop the Suncoast Connector toll road boondoggle from crossing the Suwannee River, and promote water quality testing and solar power instead.

When: 7PM, Thursday, May 23, 2019

Where: Lake City Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, 213 Southwest Commerce Boulevard, Lake City, Florida

Event: facebook

X. CITIZEN COMMENTS

This agenda item provides an opportunity for citizens to address the Council on any matter not included on the agenda. The comment period is limited to three minutes for each individual.

Meeting Notice, Packet

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Solar power would bring more jobs than toll roads –Suwannee Riverkeeper in Gainesville Sun 2019-05-22

In the Gainesville Sun, yesterday, May 22, 2019:

Now that Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed the toll road bill, SB 7068, Suwannee Riverkeeper — which was among the 90 organizations throughout Florida that asked him to veto it — continues to oppose that boondoggle and propose actual benefits to Florida’s economy and waters.

Aerial Google map, Crystal River to Monticello and Thomasville
Google map of one likely route of the Suncoast Connector.

One of these three unneeded turnpikes would have to cross the Suwannee River, plowing through counties where we have many members. All this very poorly written bill says about its route is: “Suncoast Connector, extending from Citrus County to 164 Jefferson County.” Apparently that means from Crystal River to Monticello, and on to Thomasville, Georgia, through farms, forests and swamps. If this toll road builds its bypasses, bye-bye local businesses in Chiefland, Fanning Springs, Old Town and Cross City.

Yes, the turnpike bill has a “project development phase” for $45 million and increasing each year, with a Continue reading

Videos and slides: Suwannee Riverkeeper @ Live Oak Woman’s Club 2019-04-05

Last Wednesday, I invited the Live Oak Woman’s Club to the meeting in Valdosta this Wednesday evening between elected officials of the dozen downstream Florida counties and Valdosta.

[FL Counties Rivers Task Force in Valdosta 2019-04-10]
FL Counties Rivers Task Force in Valdosta 2019-04-10

I talked about all the items on the alides, plus some topics raised by questions from the audience.

For example, they were horrified to hear that (according to GA-PSC), AGL did not follow its own corporate procedures to investigate the Homerville, GA pipeline gas explosion. Eileen Box mentioned that the source of AGL’s gas, Southern Natural Gas, also has a pipeline that runs through her property in Suwannee County.

Most of the attendees at the Live Oak Woman’s Club had not heard that Sabal Trail leaked gas at its Hildreth Compressor Station in Suwannee County in September 2018, and they were not pleased to learn Sabal Trail took a week to get around to telling FDEP about that.

[Img36]
LNG and FERC

They wanted to know about liquid natural gas (LNG), and they were again horrified to learn that Continue reading

Defeat Suncoast Connector 2019-04-05

Please call your Florida state legislators to ask them to oppose a toll expressway across the Suwannee River, and maybe even across the Santa Fe or Ichetucknee Rivers. Instead, let’s do Amtrak passenger trains for better transportation and solar power for jobs and lower energy prices.

Map, Suncoast Connector, Defenders of Wildlife
Suncoast Connector, Defenders of Wildlife

This boondoogle would come up from Citrus County to Jefferson County. That’s all the bills (SB 7068 or HB 7113) say about the route.

Defenders of Wildlife has a corridor map that shows Suncoast Connector coming from Crystal River in Citrus County, through Gilchrist and maybe Alachua Counties, possibly crossing the Santa Fe River into Columbia County and the Ichetucknee River into Suwannee County. It would have to cross the Suwannee River somewhere, maybe into Dixie or Lafayette or even Madison County, heading on through Taylor County to Monticello in Jefferson County.

Here’s a better way to improve transportation in the Suwannee River Basin: revive Amtrak through Madison and Lake City. The tracks are already there, so Continue reading

Florida Community Solar SB 1156

If you want solar power in Florida, please call your state Senator and ask them to support SB 1156. If incumbent electric utilities don’t get on with solar power, community solar is one of the things that will replace them. Expect utilities and fossil fuel companies to oppose this bill, so it is important for you to support it.

Vote Solar
Florida Introduces Community Solar Legislation to Expand Clean Energy Access, Jobs, by rosalind, Vote Solar, 19 February 2019.

Vote Solar et alia, Press Release, 19 February 2019, Florida Introduces Community Solar Legislation to Expand Clean Energy Access, Jobs, Continue reading

FPL Columbia County Solar Farm, fall 2018

East on I-10 just before I-75 southbound crosses: a 74.5 MW FPL solar farm in Columbia County, Florida, well along in construction. I don’t think any newspaper ever called the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline a windfall:

Continued, Newspaper
Solar photos: Carl McKinney, Lake City Reporter. Sorry I forgot who sent me this picture of the newspaper front page.

FPL PR 31 July 2018, Construction begins on FPL’s four newest solar power plants, Continue reading

TECO joins Duke and FPL building solar in Florida 2018-10-29

Solar in Florida is not just for Duke and FPL anymore: Tampa Electric is building 260 megawatt hours of solar power, and the Florida PSC and Office of Public Counsel are praising it for reducing coal and natural gas burning. Even FPSC, which approved the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline boondoggle only five years ago, is starting to look up and see the sun in the Sunshine State.

Michael Moline, FloridaPolitics.com, 29 October 2018, Tampa Electric wins PSC clearance for solar power projects,

Tampa Electric solar projects

The Public Service Commission approved a deal Monday that allows Tampa Electric Co. to build five solar-generating plants and pass along the $46 million tab to its ratepayers.

Note that’s million with a letter m, not like the billions FPL is charging its customers for Sabal Trail. Continue reading

Energy Book co-authors 2018-08-07

We went to Rum 138 to see Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, when Janet Barrow and I needed to know about the early move of the Sabal Trail pipeline off of the Ichetucknee River. Merrillee, Janet, and I are writing a book about five years working together promoting solar power and opposing that hazardous fracked methane boondoggle.

Festive, Co-authors
Janet Barrow, John S. Quarterman, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, 7 August 2018

Three laptops and mounds of paper were used. Almost three months later, we’re still digesting what Merrillee turned up out of her archives. Things we didn’t realize about fossil fuel feints and many solar successes are becoming clear as we compare notes.

Merrillee’s halo seems to be slipping in this picture, and my hat fell off: Continue reading