This is a repost from one of our sister publication, Windermere Sun, below:
Sun Rays (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
Sunshine Through Globe of Epcot (credit: Susan Sun Nunamaker)
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Here is an update of a very meaningful project/campaign of one of our own Central Floridians, Marshall Pitcairn, owner of ZEAL (Zero Energy Apartment Living) apartment. Mr. Pitcairn is a Renaissance Man with background and experience in both computer science and entertainment. He is a single parent, juggling his time between parenthood and starting up a project initially near UCF campus and hopefully to spread to rest of the Florida and USA, during our transition toward the Clean and Renewable Future. The idea of reducing the cost of utility bills as much as possible for apartment tenants (via solar energy) is brilliant and definitely the right direction for our renewable future.
“ZEAL Apartments are fully powered by renewable energy, with enough to cover everybody’s normal usage for today, so you don’t have to skimp on your amenities,” Marshall Pitcairn comments, “The electricity is included in the rent, and the rent will be comparable to other apartments in the area. ZEAL Apartments offer to hassle sustainable living to renters and a better ROI for investors.”
This Indiegogo campaign will help to raise the funds for starting building the first ZEAL Apartments. Any of solar supporters, clean/renewable energy enthusiasts, or community supporters, this is your chance to help to participate in a meaningful project in spreading the sunshine. In exchange for pledging to the project, backers can gain access to a variety of rewards, including a spot on the waiting list to live in a ZEAL Apartment for $20, a spot on the waiting list and the choice of a ZEAL logo t-shirt, coffee mug, or tote bag, and more. Backers can also pledge $100 for a spot on the waiting list and personal thank you phone or skype call from the owner of the ZEAL Apartments. To find out more about this campaign or ZEAL Apartments, please contact Marshall Pitcairn via: 321-960-2630, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva ranked 4th place on Sep. 3, 2016
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Hurray! Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva ranked 4th place today, after: Hewlett Packard Enterprise, The Mindful Bunch, and Carnegie Mellon University teams! Thank you, team members, for a job well done! With Amendment 4 being passed in Florida and Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva placing in top ten teams at Kiva, it is a Fantastic Week for Solar future!
We want to spread more sunshine throughout the planet earth by increasing opportunities that would make this planet earth a better place to live. This is accomplished via micro-finance. With as little as $25, any one is able to participate in helping another entrepreneur on planet Earth via the platform of Kiva.
We are hopeful and optimistic that sun, water, wind, and geothermal energy will lead us into a world free from pollution and war. Let us earthlings look for ways to make this a reality! Sunisthefuture Team supports entrepreneurs from USA and various developing nations in starting/maintaining businesses in solar energy/renewable energy/recycling/energy efficiency.
Click on “Loans” and “Members” at Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva web site to see which small businesses we’ve supported and who are members on Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva.
To see what Green Loans are currently needing help to be funded, click on “Lend” on top of the page, then select (placing a check mark inside the box next to…) for “Green” under ATTRIBUTES in the left hand margin. At the end of the transaction, be sure to click on “complete order” in order to complete the transaction. Then check to see if the number of loans has been correctly added for your individual profile and for the team you’ve attributed the loan to.
Firework, by Saifon Narongrat (brought to you by WindermereSun.com)
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The votes are in. Amendment 4 passed with the vast majority of Floridians across the state voting YES to support solar power in the Sunshine State (at 73% vs. 27% margin, the measure needs 60% to win)! The victory would not have been possible without the effort of thousands of volunteers and organizations throughout Florida that worked tirelessly to get the necessary votes. Thank you for all of your dedication and support.
This is a huge step to usher the Sunshine State from being blocked
Sun blocked by clouds, by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
into the Solar Energy Age and on the way in becoming a leader in the solar industry!
Sun is shining, no longer blocked by clouds, by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Amendment 4 will help Floridians to lower energy costs by reducing the tax burden for solar equipment. With lower taxes for homeowners and businesses, more solar energy development is anticipated for Floridians to lock in energy savings, create jobs, spur economic development, and bring much needed diversity to Florida’s energy mix!
Solar Panels Reflecting the Sky, by Debbie Mous, brought to you by WindermereSun.com
Solar Growth by huntr004, brought to you by WindermereSun.com
Solar Panels by Neville Mecallef, brought to you by WindermereSun.com
Now, Floridians, please remember to Vote “No” for Amendment 1 on November 8 because it’s a Trojan Horse that the utility companies are using to block further solar development. More on Amendment 1 in a future post.
Dear Fellow Floridians, for more information about Early Voting, please refer to our Previous Post . If you have any questions about voting, please call the Election Protection hotline at: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682-Espanol.) Assistance is available in English or Spanish.
We, the Floridians, have been blessed with generous sunshine, residing in the SunShine State. In the August Primary, Floridian voters will have the opportunity to lower energy cost and boost future solar energy production in the Sunshine State by voting YES for Amendment 4 on the Primary Ballot. Amendment 4 will amend Florida’s Constitution to exempt the value of solar panels and other renewable energy equipment from both the tangible personal property tax and the real property tax. In order for Amendment 4 to become law, it must be approved by YES vote from at least 60% of the Floridian voters for the August 30 Primary Ballot.
The exact wording of Amendment 4, below (in italics):
Solar Devices or Renewable Energy Source Devices;Exemption from Certain Taxation and Assessment.
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to exempt from ad valorem taxation the assessed value of solar or renewable energy source devices subject to tangible personal property tax, and to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to prohibit consideration of such devices in assessing the value of real property for ad valorem taxation purposes. This amendment takes effect January 1, 2018, and expires on December 31, 2037.
Firstly, ad valorem simply means in proportion to the value. So, Amendment 4 is proposing to remove the tax based on the value of the solar panels/renewable energy source devices and also to prevent the inclusion of these devices when assessing the value of the real property. This amendment, if passed, will enable solar energy in Florida to be much more affordable for every one (commercial, as well as residential), help to increase the number of solar jobs and further solar development in Florida tremendously , and at no cost to Florida’s taxpayers because these taxes are not being collected now.
As we come to the final stage of fossil fuel period in history…
as more natural disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy and Louisiana flood) occur…
and increasing suicide rate of farmers from different parts of the world (India, Australia, etc.) resulting from extreme weather conditions due to increased rate of climate change….
and the cost of solar and renewable energy and battery storage technology continues to decrease
It is our moral imperative to do everything possible in slowing down the current rate of climate change. It is also our sense of practicality that should direct us quickly toward transition into solar and renewable energy. The great irony in life is that: those of us in the developed nations have been contributing far more than those in developing nations to this dramatic increased rate of climate change. But when the chips are down, it is those in the developing nations and the poorest who will be suffering more. There is something terribly wrong with this picture. It would have been far more impactful if Amendment 4 were passed more than a decade ago. Voting YES for Amendment 4 now is the least that we can and should do. In addition to installing solar, I believe we should also be thinking of switching to electrical vehicles, recycle more, bike and walk more, eat less meat, etc. It is economical/practical and ethical to encourage the growth of solar and renewable energy in the Sunshine State!
Keep in mind that there are three ways to vote:
At the polls on August 30, 2016
Early Voting between August 15-August 28 or August 20-August 27 or……., depending on which county you are in.
By mail starting from July 26, 2016 and be sure your mail-in ballot is received by 7:00 pm on election day, August 30, 2016. So, those of you who are planning on mailing in your ballot, be sure you do so ASAP.
For those of you interested in clean energy future, you may like to know that Florida Solar Voter is a project of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy dedicated to providing all Florida voters an easy way to sign up to vote by mail. Please feel free to contact Southern Alliance For Clean Energy via 813-252-1751 or www.CleanEnergy.org .You may also be interested in visiting Floridians For Solar Choice.
Solar Decathlon 2013 of U.S. Department of Energy-Collegiate teams at Orange County Great Park, Irvine, CA
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Some of you have written me and asked why is it that I am not posting as frequently as I used to. To this, I respond: my dear solar friends, because I believe Solar Tsunami is unstoppable now. When I started posting at www.sunisthefuture.net back in 2011, the solar age was approaching the inflection point, a region on the curve when it was much more likely to be stifled by unfavorable policies. But now, we have gone way beyond that point of inflection. Solar industry has become an industry of over $100 billion and cannot be stopped. Efforts or policy such as what occurred in Nevada in placing that extra $40/month of fixed fees on solar installations may slow down the distributed solar installations in the short term, but it is going to drive Nevada Energy toward being unprofitable at a much faster pace in the long run….for this would speed up the process of consumers wanting to go off grid rather than trying to stay on the grid. As for states that are progressing slower, such as my beloved Florida, solar installations will continue to increase simply for the fact that cost of solar has dropped so much within the past five years and battery technology continues to advance. If the utility companies are able to learn and adapt to becoming more bank-like/energy service manager rather than energy generator establishment and consumers take on more of a prosumerrole, the transition may be much smoother. So, I hope those involved in the energy industry will keep an open mind while listening to some words of wisdom from Karl Rabago and Toby Couture below:
I apologize if you have already seen these two videos above….for I believe these two experts (Karl Rabago and Toby Couture) have thoroughly understood and presented our next phase of energy profile.
Disney Solar Farm at the Reedy Creek Improvement District
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Yes, this is definitely a project both Walt Disney himself
Walt Disney stamp
Mickey Mouse (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
would have approved! For those of you who are not aware of the project, it is located in the Reedy Creek Improvement District (the Disney controlled taxing district) occupying about 20 acres near World Drive and Epcot Center Drive at Walt Disney World Resort in the shape of Mickey Mouse. Mashable posted photos received from satellite imaging from NearMap of the installation, below.
Disney Solar Farm at the Reedy Creek Improvement District (image: nearmap)
This Mickey shaped solar farm is built and operated by Duke Energy, composed of 48,000 solar PV panels and five-megawatt. Last year, Duke Energy of Florida announced that it would build up to 500 megawatts of solar by 2024 as part of a multiyear plan.
The Reedy Creek Improvement District Board of Supervisors voted to accept a 15-year power-purchase agreement with Duke Energy Florida Solar Solutions LLC, a subsidiary of Duke Energy Florida, to purchase solar energy from the facility. Administrator of Reedy Creek Improvement District, Bill Warren, said, “The use of solar energy builds on our commitment to protect the environment and is another step toward realizing our long-term sustainability goals.”
“We are committed to working with customers to expand their use of renewable energy,” said Alex Glenn, president of Duke Energy Florida. “This opportunity to serve the Reedy Creek Improvement District is another example of how we are meeting our customers interests in renewable energy, while bringing more solar choices to Florida.”
Duke Energy has also funded more than $8 million in solar PV system installations at approximately 50 K-12 schools and universities in Florida to generate electricity and help foster renewable energy education.
As for bringing more solar choices to Florida, please keep in mind that Floridians For Solar Choice is still alive, awaiting for more signatures in order to provide Floridians with more solar choices, allowing third party power providers such as Solar City that would be able to help Florida residents to take part in generating and using solar power
Florida sunshine (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
without having to worry about installation cost. Be sure to sign and send in the petition in the red link above.
While we’re on the topic of Mickey shaped solar farm, did you know that Disney is fond of placing hidden Mickeys throughout its theme parks, movies, and other properties. More than 1000 hidden Mickeys have been recorded. Fans estimate that more are waiting to be discovered. I have actually seen, via Google Maps, a hidden Mickey forest in Orlando. Do you know where it is?
I am getting more messages from people in different parts of the state of Florida wanting to go solar, but do not know how. So, I’d like to repost part of an earlier post to help forage the path, below:
Here are some points to consider in order to help you to take part in solar energy use
I. I want you to be aware of all the incentive programs (to save money) for installing renewable/solar energy & energy efficiency in USA and FL.
II. Find a local installer to receive an estimate of what type or how big of a solar system is suitable for your particular needs. All solar installers I’ve come across so far would be able to provide such an estimate free of charge. If you live in Tampa, FL area, mention that you’ve found out about SEM and solar co-op from Windermere Sun, then you can get a discount with SEM. For those in other parts of the Florida, mention Windermere Sun first before negotiating for a discount.
*Keep in mind that if you can get your money back:
in 7 years by installing solar system, that is equivalent to about 14.3% rate of return (1/7 = 0.1428)
in 8 years by installing solar system, that is equivalent to about 12.5% rate of return (1/8 = 0.125)
in 9 years by installing solar system, that is equivalent to about 11.1% rate of return (1/9 =0.111…)
The stock market cannot guarantee such a good deal. It’s a no brainer! Any one who plans on being alive in 10+ years would do well to install solar.
IV. If you live in an apartment or in a house that is shaded, even though you may not be able to take advantage of the solar energy via your own rooftop, you may still be able to participate in solar energy use via Community Solar Garden/Farm. Check out what’s been accumulated atSun Is The Future about Start A Community Solar Garden/Farm
Community Solar Garden/Farm-(Westmill_Solar_Cooperative_1 Creaive Commons GNU Free Documentation License)
Community Solar Garden/Farm of Clean Energy Collective in Cowdery Meadow Community Solar (credit: Sun Is The Future-Susan Sun Nunamaker
V. If you need to get a loan or any financial assistance in order to participate in solar energy use, please consider these avenues, below:
Obtaining a loan via Kiva, then contact Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva by email: email@example.com so Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva will help to promote for the funding of this loan.
Obtaining a loan via Mosaic, then contact Sun Is The Future by email: firstname.lastname@example.org so Sun Is The Future will help to promote for the funding of this loan.
Obtaining a grant via one of the crowdfunding platforms, then contact Sun Is The Future by email: email@example.com so Sun Is The Future will be able to help promote for your campaign. Different platforms have different conditions. So be sure to take care in choosing the appropriate ones for you.
If you live in Windermere, FL area and is obtaining either a solar loan or a solar grant via any of the avenues above, be sure to contact Windermere Sun by email: info.WindermereSun@gmail.com so Windermere Sun will be able to help promote for your loan or grant.
VI. For those of you who truly have difficulty in affording the installation cost of solar or do not have property suited for solar installation, do not forget the recent victory at the Florida State Supreme Court, explained in this post. There is something you can do to help improve the chance of lowering your future utility bills, by obtaining more signatures to improve the chance of Floridians For Solar Choice ballot .
May you/we all be able to enjoy the warmth and energy of Sunshine for many decades to come….
Floridians for Solar Choice Coalition Discusses Future of the Coalition and Opposition to Misleading Utility-Backed Petition
Solar supporters highlight how utilities’ campaign was designed to confuse voters
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (January 11, 2016) Today, Floridians for Solar Choice joins other parties in filing briefs with Florida’s Supreme Court opposing the utility-backed constitutional amendment, which proposes to maintain Florida’s regulatory status quo for solar energy. Calling the utility-backed solar amendment misleading, solar supporters note the utilities’ proposal was launched only to confuse voters and counter the success of the broadly supported grassroots campaign launched by Floridians for Solar Choice.
“It is a cynical proposal designed to confuse voters. Its ballot language falsely tells voters that the amendment gives people the right to make a solar energy choice, when in fact it gives them nothing more than what they already have under the Florida Constitution’s basic rights and under general law – the ability to own or lease the solar equipment they use to make electricity at their homes and businesses,” said Bill Garner, attorney with Nabors, Giblin & Nickerson, P.A.
The Floridians for Solar Choice coalition acknowledges that the utilities’ multi-million dollar misinformation campaign has succeeded in confusing voters and preventing Solar Choice from gaining a slot on the 2016 ballot. However, the coalition’s goal remains unchanged: to open the solar market in Florida and encourage the development of clean and affordable energy through smart solar policy. As petitions are valid for 24 months from the date of signing, the coalition continues to explore options to qualify for the 2018 ballot and Solar Choice volunteers and partner organizations continue to collect petitions around the state.
“Florida is ranked third for rooftop solar potential by the solar energy industry, and yet remains far behind other states in installed solar because of our utility monopolized environment,” said Tory Perfetti, chairman of Floridians for Solar Choice. “It is unfortunate that Florida continues to treat solar energy differently and continues to maintain barriers to free market growth of this energy source. This coalition and I will keep fighting to provide more choice to the citizens of this great state regarding their energy future.”
Although Florida’s is ranked third in the nation for rooftop solar potential by the Solar Energy Industries Association, there is a dearth of installed solar throughout the Sunshine State. The lack of extensive solar energy systems largely stems from regressive energy policies, many of which are supported by monopoly utilities wary of losing their captive customers in an open energy market.
“My experience on Florida’s Public Service Commission makes it clear that removing regressive energy policies in order to open and more-fully develop the solar market in Florida makes good sense both for Florida’s consumers and for our state’s economy,” said E. Leon Jacobs, Jr., legal counsel to the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association. “The utilities’ claims against the proposed Solar Choice amendment are simply not based in fact.”
Although the utility-backed campaign called Consumers for Smart Solar has described itself as a “diverse coalition of business, civic and faith leaders,” financial filings reveal they are entirely backed by utilities and their front groups. Electric utilities contributed more than half of the $5.9 million collected since last summer, and December’s filing are expected to demonstrate continued utility support.
“This misleading ballot amendment is bad for consumers, bad for the environment, and bad for Florida. That’s why we’re challenging it in court,” said Earthjustice attorney Bradley Marshall.
The affirmation of Solar Choice’s dedication to their goal and their strong opposition to the utility backed proposal are timely given the start of the 2016 legislative session tomorrow, and the coalition remains confident that the voice of the people who want more solar in the Sunshine State will be heard.
“The Floridians for Solar Choice coalition is stronger today than ever before and we remain unwavering in our focus to open the solar market in the Sunshine State,” said Dr.Stephen A. Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Yes, the utilities have more money, but their positions are on the wrong side of this issue. Deception and unethical manipulation of Florida’s voters will not win in the end. We trust the Supreme Court will see through the monopoly utilities’ chicanery and deny the false petition from ballot access.”
Below is the video of Floridians For Solar Choice Press Conference that took place on Jan. 11, 2016:
So, essentially the take-away from this post is that there is still more time ( 754-307-7451, firstname.lastname@example.org). Floridians are not giving up the opportunity for bringing in Sunshine to our Sunshine state!
Gathered, written, photographed, & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Thanks to President Obama for visiting Everglades of Florida on Earth Day and bringing attention to the importance of action in slowing the climate change in order to preserve our beautiful Everglades for future generations.
Did you know that many are celebrating April 22 as the Earth Day each year? Earth Day aims to inspire the awareness of and appreciation for earth’s environment. It is usually celebrated with outdoor performances such that individuals or groups perform acts of service to earth. Some simple acts you may want to consider participating in: planting trees, picking up roadside trash, becoming involved in recycling and conservation. Here at Sun Is The Future, since our mission is to spread the Sunshine to all parts of the planet earth by information/education via www.sunisthefuture.net, www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture, www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture , www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture, https://plus.google.com/+SunisthefutureNet , micro-finance (to help entrepreneurs in different parts of the planet to establish small businesses in solar/renewable energy/energy efficiency/recycling via www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture, and online Sunshine Store at www.sunisthefuture.com . For we, the Solar Enthusiasts, believe that Solar Energy is the solution to: Energy-Pollution-Climate Change-International Conflicts. So, let’s add one more act of service to your Earth Day celebration: Share the Sun Is The Future with our fellow Earthlings, for we want and need to transition globally into the Solar/ Renewable Energy Age as quickly as possible. So please visit www.sunisthefuture.net and :
If you’re not a Florida resident, then think of ways to encourage more effective solar/renewable energy policy for your state. This web site has information for incentives for renewable energy & energy efficiency in all 50 states in USA.
If you’re not a USA resident, then think of ways to encourage more effective solar/renewable energy policy for your community/province/county.
There’s much we all need to do/act. Below, please allow me to share this video:
Ask yourself what it is that you can do to help increase the healthy longevity of our beautiful planet earth, below.
I just found out that today is actually also the 10th birthday of Youtube! To celebrate the existence of Youtube, allow me to share the VERY First Video that was uploaded on Youtube:
THANK YOU & HAPPY BIRTHDAY, YOUTUBE!!!
Thanks to Youtube for enabling Sun Is The Future to be able to share much with our readers/viewers from over 186 countries (our sister publication Windermere Sun in more than 81 countries). We are eternally grateful for our connection to Youtube.
Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
~have a bright and sunny day~
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics: www.sunisthefuture.net
A piece of rather distressing, yet not surprising, news (from a Sunday Miami Herald‘s:a story from the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting) recently surfaced, revealing information from former Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) employees. Apparently, according to some former DEP volunteers, officials, and one attorney (former employee of the DEP Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee from 2008 to 2013) were told not to use the terms “climate change“, “sustainability“, or “global warming” in emails, reports, or official communications. This unwritten policy went into effect shortly after Governor Rick Scott took office in 2011. The former attorney, Christopher Byrd, is now in private practice as an environmental lawyer in Orlando and he did not agree with such unwritten policy.
In Orlando Weekly: When questioned by the Center for Investigative Reporting on the ban of these terms, the DEP insisted that it didn’t have a policy on the topic. But as we already know from looking into other areas of Scott’s administration, not keeping records about important communications, decisions and policies is part of how it does business.
In Miami Herlad: In 2014, in response to Gov. Scott’s comment that he “was not a scientist” when asked about his views on climate change, a group of Florida scientists requested to meet with Gov. Scott to explain the science behind the phenomenon. These scientists were given 30 minutes but really only had 20-21 minutes.
What can we do to protect our environment here in Florida? Firstly, we have to be well informed by conscientious government officials. We have to protect those who are willing to speak the truth and be insured of employment. So, this is what I’d propose: gather our previous posts of our sister publication, in Sun Is The Future, For Solar Landfills-More Help With Landfill Closure Requirements in Florida, Landfills+Community Solar=Great Opportunities & Savings, former FL-DEP attorney Christopher Byrd, and interested potential investors to become familiar with the concept and procedures in Start A Community Solar Garden/Farm. My fellow Floridians, there are much investment potentials here in Florida waiting to be discovered. For those of you who do not have huge sum of cash flowing around, you may consider pulling funds from various sources and form your own microfinance groups or ask the world to help you to convert your local landfills into community solar gardens via crowdfunding! Click on the “Loans & Grants For Small Businesses” of Windermere Sun and learn how to raise money from all corners of our planet. Then check with environmental attorney Christopher Byrd (407-502-5182 or 407-929-4628) for specific procedures in developing your community solar gardens/farms from landfills.
The world is so well connected that we need not dwell on the negatives! Our time is too precious to be wasted on the negatives! We need to concentrate our time, energy, and effort toward the solution. In my book, Solar Energy is the ultimate solution that will solve: Energy-Pollution-Slow Down Climate Change-Avoid International Conflicts. What are we waiting for, Floridians, let’s bring back the Sunshine To Our Beloved Sunshine State! Contrary to Governor Scott, we do not choose to wish the problem away by not talking about it, we need to talk about it and work toward the Solar Solution For Sunshine State!
~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker