TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—(ENEWSPF)–June 19, 2017. Florida Governor Rick Scott late Friday signed Senate Bill 90, a measure that will expand tax breaks for renewable energy sources like solar panels on commercial and industrial buildings. The bill extends renewable-energy tax breaks already given to residential properties and exempts a percentage of the assessed value of renewable installations from property taxes.
“By approving these rooftop solar incentives, Governor Scott helped make the Sunshine State’s energy future a bit brighter,” said Chad Tudenggongbu, a senior renewable energy campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This moderate step will help local businesses take energy decisions into their own hands and bring well-paying clean-energy jobs to Florida. But state leaders should take stronger action to remove roadblocks to rooftop solar.”
S.B. 90 received unanimous support in both the Florida House of Representatives and its Senate but was not voted on until the end of the legislative session. It was a compromise solution to implement a clean-energy constitutional amendment approved by 73 percent of Florida voters in August.
“With something so widely supported by Floridians, you have to wonder what took so long,” said Tudenggongbu. “Voters in Florida have repeatedly and enthusiastically supported renewable power development. Politicians shouldn’t hold the Sunshine State back from becoming a leader in solar energy.”
Florida’s solar industry is relatively small despite large capacity. The state currently ranks only 13 in the nation for installed capacity, although it is third in technical solar potential. The Center’s recent Throwing Shade report ranked Florida as one of the 10 worst states blocking distributed solar with bad policies.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.