Solar Panels Illegal in Florida — This hurricane season has brought some of the most destructive storms we have seen in a long time. Hurricane Irma laid waste to Florida after it decimated the Caribbean islands. Even though it weakened somewhat by the time it made landfall in Florida, it still made significant material damage.
Solar Panels Illegal in Florida
The storm cut the power to around 40% of Florida, and there are still at least a million people who still have no electricity. However, seeing how this is the Sunshine State, there’s always solar panels, right? Solar power can work without the grid. Well, in Florida you cannot use solar panels to power your home because it is illegal!
If you’re not familiar with how the electrical grid works, here’s a quick rundown. http://blog.streetlights-solar.com/index.php/electricity-delivery-systems-industrial-lighting/.What this Florida legislation dictates is that anyone with solar panels must connect them to the electrical grid and feed the power into it.
How Did This Law Get Passed?
The legislation passed due to heavy lobbying by Florida’s biggest electrical company, Florida Power and Light. This prohibitive legislation disallows residents from powering their own homes with their own electricity.
If people with solar panels were independent of the electrical grid, the company would stand to lose a lot of money. However, the company policy is not to admit to this. Rather, they have come up with a half-decent technical explanation which should appease most people.
The company issued a statement in which they state that the bi-directional meter is highly inaccurate and will most often go against the consumer, increasing their electricity bill.
They further insist that you must shut down your solar panel system when the main grid is down because the feedback may be dangerous to the workers in the field who are trying to fix the problem. In essence, if their grid is down, you shouldn’t be able to function independently of them even if you have the means.
Why It Makes Little Sense
The first problem with their statement is that low power solar panels can electrocute their workers. And even if solar panels did put out enough power to injure a person, modern safety measures make that scenario highly unlikely.
Why Is It Especially Bad Now?
Putting aside that environmentally conscious citizens are being punished here for their proactive actions, this law is particularly damaging in this situation. The parts of the state which have been hit the hardest by the hurricane are still in disarray and will take months and maybe years to completely go back to normal.
With a new hurricane, Maria currently devastating Caribbean islands and threatening Florida once again, the last thing residents in the affected areas need is some prohibitive law which prevents them from having the most basic amenities like electricity and things powered by it.
Consequences to Florida
Even without the threat and damage done by hurricanes, Florida’s restrictive law has had a negative impact on its adoption of solar energy. Even though it is called the Sunshine State, it is lagging seriously behind California and Arizona. Both of these states are also among the sunniest states, but they have used this resource. What’s worse, Florida is behind even New York, a northern state with significantly fewer sunny hours per year.
It has been estimated that solar panels could seriously tip the scales in favor of environmental friendliness if they were more prevalent. Not only would they help the environment, they would also help reduce carbon emissions quite significantly. Outdated legislation and short-sighted profit hunting are hindering the brighter future we could have.
To contact Greenshine New Energy
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