In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • The Florida legislature is in session and considering several environmental bills.
  • Melrose, Massachusetts, won the 2019 Innovation Award from DOE program SolSmart.
  • Cologne, Germany, orders 53 new electric buses.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Florida’s green bills

The Florida legislature is now in session, and there are a number of green bills on the table that address environmental concerns. The outcome will be determined once they land on Governor Ron Desantis’ desk in a couple of months.

Here are three standouts:

The reduction of water pollution: According to Lakeland’s Ledger, “This year’s legislation deals with various sources — sewer plant discharges, urban stormwater runoff, farm runoff, septic tank discharges — that contribute to the problem by tightening regulations and transferring oversight to different agencies.”

Recycling: “Legislation is being proposed again this year that will require local governments to do more to deal with the widespread contamination in residential recycling carts. It was vetoed last year because of an unrelated amendment attached to it… If the legislation is approved, counties and cities would have to take steps to set up educational and enforcement campaigns to reduce the contamination problem.”

Solar panels for schools (pictured): Senator Lori Berman (D-Delray Beach) filed SB 1290 in December. Only 3.1% of Florida schools currently have solar. The bill proposes:

  • Schools enter into financing agreements to purchase solar power from an onsite solar system owned by a solar company at a predictable fixed price that lowers their energy costs.
  • School districts to aggregate multiple electric meters across a single county for purposes of net metering, enabling the sharing of solar credits from a single solar system.
  • Schools’ clean energy investments do not count against per-pupil construction spending caps under Florida law.

Solar innovation in Massachusetts

SolSmart is a program that recognizes cities, counties, and regional organizations for making it faster, easier, and more affordable to go solar. It’s funded by the US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.

Melrose, Massachusetts, won the SolSmart Innovation Award in November 2019. The city, located in the Boston metropolitan area with a population of around 27,000, won the award because it chose to expand beyond the residential market to nonprofits, places of worship, and small businesses by the end of 2019.

New e-buses in Cologne

KVB Cologne, Germany’s fourth-largest municipal passenger transport company, has ordered 53 electric VDL Citeas from VDL Bus & Coach, which will operate in the city’s center. The buses are 100% emission-free.

Forty-eight of the buses will be articulated. All 53 buses are scheduled to be delivered by the last quarter of 2020. KVB was the first carrier in Europe to have articulated e-buses in its fleet, from 2016.

KVB will have replaced a quarter of its diesel fleet with electric vehicles by the end of 2021. KVB’s fleet currently consists of 382 trains and trams and 330 buses.

Photo: Wayfare Energy

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