In this week’s blog, we’re going to review South Miami’s groundbreaking solar panel law. Also, talk about how this affects our state and who to thank for this great step forward.
South Miami’s Solar Charge
Earlier this month South Miami, the small town of roughly 12,000 people, took a big step towards a solar Florida. South Miami, with the help of Mayor Stoddard and his committee, passed a law that requires all new residential homes, buildings, apartment complexes and major renovations to install solar power. The bill officially passed with a vote of 4-1 and will go into effect on September 18 of this year.
This solar power law modeled after a similar solar energy law enacted in San Francisco, California. San Francisco at the time was the third city to pass such a law in California. South Miami is the first city to pass a solar power ordinance in Florida. This bill is huge considering how Florida’s state government views climate change.
What This Means for the “Sunshine State”
Florida’s current governor Rick Scott does not believe in climate change. Reportedly ordering officials not to use the words “sustainability” or “global warming” in any official communication.
Imagine not being able to say a key phrase such as “climate change” and working with Florida Department of Environmental Protection, a state agency devoted to studying and planning changes in the environment. This mandate would affect your ability to work in this costly S1.4 billion funded state organization.
A former employee stated “We were dealing with the effects and economic impact of climate change, and yet we can’t reference it,” on the Miami Herald.
In the same article, former DEP attorney Byrn said it was evident what was going on.
“It’s an indication that the political leadership in the state of Florida is not willing to address these issues and face the music when it comes to the challenges that climate change present,” Byrd said.
Regardless of the state political leadership’s unwillingness to address these issues, community leaders and environmental activists have taken it amongst themselves to take a stand.
South Miami’s Solar Spark
A perfect example of this is the environmental activist, Delaney Reynolds. She sparked the solar charge in South Florida by writing to local community leaders and holding lectures. Mayor Stoddard attended one of Reynolds talks. Intrigued by Reynolds message Mayor Stoddard asked her to gather more information and join him for a committee that would set the groundwork for the ordinance.
Delaney followed the board meetings by speaking during the Public Remarks portion at the South Miami Commission. During her speech, Delaney went over all benefits of solar power and even brought her families power bill to prove her point further. Mayor Stoddard acknowledged Delaney’s efforts and the ordinance passed its first reading with a 5-0 vote in favor of the bill. After the first reading and planning board, the ordinance was passed July 18, with a 4-1 vote in favor of the new law. It is scheduled to go into effect September 18.
Delaney is a great example of how we can take the initiative and change our community. If our federal and state government isn’t going to be responsible for sustainability in Florida, the responsibility falls on us. Are you up for the challenge?
Stay up to date with our blog to find out what is going on in the solar power community. Also, follow Delaney Reynold’s blog too for some great information.