FSEC Policy Advisory Board
November 10, 2011
Attendees: Paul Allen, John Anderson, Tommy Boroughs, Howard Bryant, Griff Carrison, Mike Faas, Philip Fairey, James Fenton, Gary Freeman, Steven Gorman, Nicholas Guarriello, Larry Hufford, Kevin Noonan, Louis Rotundo, M.J. Soileau, David Winslow
Guests: Dave Bessett, Matthias Elliott, Amy Flom, Luke Givens, Doug Harvey, Steve James, Monica Kennedy, John Leeds, Jake Luhn, George Livingston, Tony Norrow,
Alan Oyler, Winston Schoenfeld, Sharon Smeenk
- Chairman Tommy Boroughs called the meeting to order at 10:07 a.m. and welcomed the Board members and guests. PAB members, guests and FSEC staff introduced themselves.
- Tommy Boroughs mentioned that Duke Power is in the process of acquiring Progress Energy.
- Tommy Boroughs suggested that the members look over the minutes and he will ask for approval after lunch.
- Tommy Boroughs and Louis Rotundo both shared with the members that it was unlikely that the Florida House and Senate would accomplish any energy policy.
- Louis Rotundo discussed the handout, “Top 10 Reasons Why Renewable Energy Wins” and suggested that the members help get out this message.
- Philip Fairey presented the status on DOE funding on existing programs and future programs at FSEC. In general, programs are getting large budget cuts and future funding on existing proposals is uncertain or it is possible the programs are cancelled.
- James Fenton states that we have a $10 million payroll made up of $3 million from UCF and typically $7 million from the US Department of Energy. Currently the EPA and DOE are under attack and the state will probably have additional cuts. FSEC is investing in a future where energy retrofits of homes, manufacturing of solar to electric panels and education of K-12 students on renewable energy and energy efficiency will make a difference in Florida. Production of fuels and chemicals from biomass and energy storage for the grid are also key areas in need for Florida, but there is no funding source for this research.
- MJ Soileau pointed out that this is 5th year that UCF’s budget has been cut 5%, $100 million/year for the past 5 years.
- Griff Carrison stated that the Federal Funding of Energy Small Business Innovation Grants have also been cut back $30 million regardless of the merit of the programs.
- Tommy Boroughs and MJ Soileau have both met with Dr. Mary Bane, Governor Scott’s special advisor on energy policy. MJ Soileau was pleased that the meeting was very interesting, engaging, and informative. Dr. Bane was very direct and she has done her homework on energy policy. Tommy said Syd Kitson along with many others met with the governor and many people are hoping that some legislation that allows the Public Service Commission to approve projects on a one by one basis.
- James Fenton pointed out that the 2011 Future of Florida Forum, September 19-21, 2011 at Disney's Contemporary Resort Hotel, Lake Buena Vista, FL had an Energy Summit where leading energy experts Eric Silagy (Florida Power and Light), Dave Mica (Florida Petroleum Council), Bentina Terry (Gulf Power), Dr. Tim Anderson (Florida Energy Consortium), Dr. Jim Fenton (Florida Solar Energy Center) and Patrick Sheehan (FCACS Office of Energy) joined Governor Rick Scott to discuss where energy stands in Florida and what the future of energy looks like for the state. “If we don’t have a long-term energy plan, we can’t create jobs,” said Governor Scott. “If government causes energy to be more expensive, companies won’t come to Florida to open and expand their businesses.”
- James Fenton presented to the members a white paper entitled “Macro-Economics and Florida-Manufactured Energy Production.” The members reviewed the paper and changes were made. James Fenton, on behalf of the PAB, will forward the paper to Commissioner Adam Putnam (this was done November 18, 2011). The PAB encouraged the Commissioner to conduct an in-depth, highly credible economic study on the macro-economics of manufactured-in-Florida renewable energy as called for by this white paper. Photovoltaics, solar thermal, biomass and waste heat energy production should be considered in this evaluation. FSEC’s Board is a diverse group of business professionals, made up of leaders from the solar industry, educators, builders, developers, utilities, large retailers, not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations. We believe that creating energy independence and jobs for Florida can be accomplished through Florida-manufactured energy production and Florida has the natural resources to make it happen. Any major policy decision needs solid supporting data. That’s why the FSEC Policy Advisory Board believes it is important that FDACS conduct a highly credible study that examines the important economic development considerations of Florida-manufactured energy production.
- Larry Hufford informed the members that he builds net zero energy and that UCF’s FSEC for helping his business build better homes for Florida. He says he is providing jobs and he’s still selling homes, about seven homes a month. Rob Vieira mentioned that people out there are selling/buying things ENERGYSTAR- rated. Philip Fairey said even though the housing market is going down, builders who are focusing on ENERGYSTAR homes are doing well.
- James Fenton introduced Professor Winston Schoenfeld who is leading UCF’s Manufacturing Research in crystallized silicon photovoltaics. He gave the presentation U.S. PV. Manufacturing and Opportunities for Florida.
- Adjourned for lunch at 12:09 p.m.
- Returned from lunch at 1:06 p.m.
- Ali Raissi was introduced and gave his presentation, Biomass to Fuels and Feedstocks.
- Motion made by Louis Rotundo and seconded by Mike Faas to approve the Minutes of the February 24, 2011 meeting. Minutes approved as submitted.
- Next meeting should be held in February before the session.
- John Anderson asked about Q&A section that appeared October 13, 2011, with Matt Reed in Florida Today “Tough economics for solar power; UCF expert: Competition behind lower prices, Solyndra failure.”
- Meeting Adjourned at 2:05 p.m.