Tuesday, December 23, 2008

No One is Lining Up for FPL Lines, says Riptide 2.0

The Miami News Times' Riptide 2.0 blog notes the FPL power lines controversy through southwest Miami-Dade County communities.
One route cuts through the old Florida East Coast Railroad property, which runs along South Miami Elementary and Middle School ... Another candidate route is along US1. Of course, that's one of the main drags through town, and adding power lines could seriously add a whole new dimension of ugly.
Photos of US1 and power-line heavy SW 7th Street are provided as visuals.

Read the Riptide 2.0 post online here.

FPL charges to 'educate' on power conservation draw criticism

The Miami Herald reports today that "The simplest way to battle global warming is to use less electricity. But that basic idea has produced a bitter battle between environmentalists and Florida Power & Light."

In fact, says the paper, FPL claims that 2006 federal data shows it's No. 1 nationally for something called "cumulative energy efficiency achievement."

Utilities like FPL are required by a 1980 law to teach customers how to conserve energy -- FPL says it's doing such a good job educating its customers that it deserves to keep charging them for the education, about $2 dollars per month on their electricity bill.

The story points out the obvious, that:
Environmentalists are skeptical of some of FPL's claims. Stephen Smith, head of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, wrote recently to the Governor's Action Team on Energy and Climate Change that FPL's claim to be No. 1 relates to demand reduction programs, paying customers to lower usage at certain times, and not overall energy savings.

Measuring energy savings as a percentage of total sales, FPL ranks No. 19 nationally, Smith wrote. ``Energy savings, not demand reduction, is the path to reduced global warming.''

Certainly, customers are paying. In a PSC workshop earlier this year, environmentalist Holly Binns said Florida utilities have collected $4.15 billion from customers since 1981 to reduce electricity consumption, but consumption per customer has risen 44 percent in Florida while it declined by 28 percent in California, an early advocate of energy-efficient appliances and building codes as well as demanding aggressive programs from utilities.
You can read the full Herald story online, here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Employee's stolen laptop does not pose a risk, FPL says

In the Miami Herald today, we learn that the theft of an FPL employee's laptop computer containing sensitive information about the Turkey Point nuclear plant poses "no risk" to the public safety.

Apparently, the laptop contained informationthat includes "a simulator model for the reactor and schematics" ... but "There was no security breach," stressed Florida Power & Light spokesman Tom Veenstra.

Just the latest with Turkey Point problems, as the Herald notes:

Turkey Point was in the news this week for another security matter.

A state commission on Tuesday ordered FPL to pay back $6 million it charged to customers after shutting down the plant in 2006 because a disgruntled contract employee drilled a hole in a crucial pipe.

Read the full Herald story online, here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Proposed power lines have South Miamians raising eyebrows

The Miami Herald reports today that FPL says it is "looking at four options" for the paths of new high-voltage power lines that would run north from the Turkey Point nuclear plant through southwest Miami-Dade County communities.

Herald staff writer Elaine de Valle says one of the four alternate routes that "cuts right through the western edge of the city on the old Florida East Coast Railroad property, that runs along South Miami Elementary and High schools" has neighbors upset and quotes Vice-Mayor Brian Beasley as saying:
''I'm having problems with it going through our city,'' Beasley said. ``I don't want it near residential homes. That's just not going to happen.''
De Valle also quoted FPL spokesman Eloy Villasuso as saying the company "needs to add lines to the existing power corridor from Turkey Point [nuclear plant] to Davis station, which is at about Southwest 138th Street and 127th Avenue, and build new lines from Davis to the Northeast parts of Miami." She also quoted Villasuso as saying that State Road 874 and U.S. 1 are both being looked at as potential paths for the project.

Here's more:
Residents at Thursday's meeting were resoundingly against having the lines along the railroad track. Many of them said the property had been marked for a ''rails-to-trails'' walking and bike path project by the Florida Department of Transportation.

Those plans, which date to 2002, have gone nowhere and likely will stall further as the state and county deal with fewer resources.

But residents said the property is still wrong for a high-voltage power corridor.

''Hundreds of neighbors have been waiting for this property to be turned into a park,'' said Elizabeth Gonzalez, whose home on 69th Avenue just south of Sunset Drive is right up against the tracks.
The full Herald story is online here:

UPDATE: Residents want to stop FPL high-voltage lines along US 1, Florida East Coast Railroad

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Herald: FPL to discuss high-voltage lines in South Miami

The Miami Herald reported today that FPL is scheduled to meet with residents of South Miami on Thursday "to explain their plans to take the FEC railroad track property that runs along South Miami Elementary and High School and put high-voltage power lines there:

Herald staff writer Elaine de Valle reports on the latest in the series of public meetings about the FPL proposal to to run power lines from the Turkey Point nuclear plant north from Homestead to Doral:
''We are proposing to expand our transmission system to enhance reliability and accommodate future service requirements in the South Florida area,'' said Mayco VillafaƱa, adding that four new tracks of lines are being proposed, three in the western part of Miami-Dade and this one that runs through South Miami.
And, despite what VillafaƱa called "open houses throughout the neighborhoods to hear the recommendations and suggestions from our customers," De Valle also reports that:
Some South Miami residents are concerned about supposed health risks associated with power lines and the effect they may have on property values.
The South Miami meeting begins at 4 p.m. Thursday at the South Miami Elks Club Lodge No. 1676, 6304 SW 78th St.

The full Herald article is online at:

UPDATE: Residents want to stop FPL high-voltage lines along US 1, Florida East Coast Railroad