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Gov. Charlie Crist, R-Florida, has signed a bill directing Florida's Public Service Commission to adopt a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that would require the state's utilities to supply renewable energy to customers directly by procuring or through renewable energy credits, provided that the use does not reduce the alternative minimum tax credit.

The new law would expand air quality, energy and land-use goals of the State Comprehensive Plan to include the development and siting of low-carbon-emitting electric power plants - including nuclear - the reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and the promotion of the use and development of renewable energy resources.

The bill also removes the expiration date of the property tax exemption for real property on which a renewable energy resource device is installed and revises the options for calculating the amount of the exemption.

In addition, provisions relating to innovation incentive awards would be revised to include alternative and renewable energy projects.

In developing the RPS, the commission must consult the Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Energy and Climate Commission. A draft rule for legislative consideration must be presented by Feb. 1, 2009.

SOURCE: Florida House of Representatives

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