An act relating to energy; creating s. 288.10894, F.S.;
creating the Florida Alternative Energy Center; providing
legislative findings; providing definitions; requiring
that the center comply with public-meetings and public-
records laws; providing for the organization, purpose, and
duties of the center; providing for the membership of the
board of directors of the center; requiring the disclosure
of financial interests by board members; requiring an
annual report; creating s. 288.10895, F.S.; creating the
Alternative Energy Incentive Program for the purpose of
encouraging economic development and research; providing
definitions; providing for the program to be operated by
the Florida Alternative Energy Center; providing the
qualification criteria for a business to receive an award
under the program; providing a grant-application process
and requirements for such application; providing for an
evaluation and award process; requiring that the center
validate the performance of projects funded under the
program; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Section 288.10894, Florida Statutes, is created
288.10894 Florida Alternative Energy Center; findings;
creation; membership; organization; purpose; duties; powers.--
(1) The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest
to promote alternative energy technologies in this state,
including alternative fuels and technologies for electrical power
plants, electric motor vehicles, energy conservation, distributed
generation, advanced transmission methods, and the control of
pollution and greenhouse gases. Both Florida and the United
States are overly dependent on foreign oil for meeting the energy
needs of buildings and motor vehicles. Alternative energy and
energy-conservation technologies have the potential to decrease
this dependency, minimize the volatility of fuel costs, and
improve environmental conditions. In-state research, development,
deployment, and use of these technologies can make the state a
leader in new and innovative technologies and encourage
investment and economic development in this state.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) "Center" means the Florida Alternative Energy Center.
(b) "Alternative energy" means energy technologies that are
undeveloped or less than established in current markets. The term
includes, but is not limited to: biomass; agricultural products
and byproducts; municipal solid waste, including landfill
injection, landfill mining, and landfill gas; solar thermal and
solar photovoltaic energy; geothermal; ocean energy, including
wave or thermal; hydrogen fuel; fuel cells; energy conservation,
including building, equipment, and appliance efficiency
technologies; enhancements to the transmission of electricity,
including advanced transmission lines; distributed generation;
ethanol, biodiesel, and similar synthetic fuels; and technologies
relating to limiting pollutants and greenhouse gases.
(3)(a) There is created a public corporation and a public
body corporate and politic, to be known as the "Florida
Alternative Energy Center." It is the intent of the Legislature
that the Florida Alternative Energy Center constitutes an
entrepreneurial public corporation organized to provide and
promote the public welfare by administering the governmental
function of promoting the development of alternative energy in
this state and that the corporation is not a department of the
executive branch of state government within the scope and meaning
of s. 6, Art. IV of the State Constitution, and is not
functionally located within any state agency or department.
(b) The corporation is constituted as a public
instrumentality, and the exercise by the corporation of the power
conferred by this section is deemed to be the performance of an
essential public function. The corporation constitutes an agency
for the purposes of s. 120.52. The corporation is subject to
chapter 119, subject to exceptions applicable to the corporation,
and to the provisions of chapter 286; however, the corporation
may provide notice of internal review committee meetings for
competitive proposals or procurement to applicants by mail or
facsimile rather than by means of publication. The corporation is
not governed by chapter 607, but by the provisions of this
section. If for any reason the establishment of the corporation
is deemed in violation of law, such provision is severable and
the remainder of this act remains in full force and effect.
(c) The corporation is a corporation primarily acting as an
instrumentality of the state, within the meaning of s. 768.28.
(4) The center is the principal organization in the state
for the promotion of alternative energy technology. Its goals are
to minimize dependence on foreign oil, with the maximum overall
benefit to the state, and, where possible, to minimize the
effects of greenhouse gases. The center shall accomplish these
goals by consolidating in-state resources and activities into a
unified forum to better coordinate, facilitate, and fund
research, development, deployment, and use of alternative energy
technologies. In order to make better use of limited resources,
the center shall focus on projects having near-term, in-state
benefits. Additionally, in making decisions concerning research,
development, or deployment projects, and in awarding grants and
other outlays, the center shall determine which of the following
elements of product and market development to focus upon in order
to achieve the greatest benefit with respect to research and
manufacturing, in the wholesale and retail markets, and for
consumers. More specifically, the center shall:
(a) Bring together existing resources by:
1. Assisting in the integration of state-government energy
2. Developing an information exchange system, including:
a. Creating a computer database, accessible by any
interested person, by gathering and indexing all information
concerning activities in this state related to programs of
alternative energy technology research, development, and
deployment in universities, at all levels of government agencies,
and in private industry. The database must include a current
index and profile of all research activities, identified by
alternative energy technology area, including a summary of the
project, the amount and sources of funding, and anticipated
completion dates or, in case of completed research, the
conclusions, recommendations, and applicability of research to
state government and private-sector functions.
b. Developing an interactive electronic information point
where interested persons can find information and connect with
other interested persons.
c. Holding conferences for the purpose of providing
additional information exchange and educating the public.
(b) Administer state-funded grants and capital outlay
programs, including developing an application program to
determine awards of those grants and outlays, and assist
interested persons in obtaining additional funding for
alternative energy technology projects.
(c) Explore the problems faced by persons developing
technology in this state and determine the problems, such as
problems in research, development, obtaining start-up capital and
financing, or finding buyers for the technology, and assist in
resolving these problems.
(d) In cooperation with Enterprise Florida, Inc., promote
the state as a location for businesses having operations related
to alternative energy technologies.
(e) Develop recommendations for legislation to establish a
state energy policy. The center shall continually review the
state energy policy and recommend to the Legislature any
additional necessary changes or improvements. The recommendations
of the center shall be based on the guiding principles of
reliability, efficiency, affordability, and diversity, and more
specifically on the following principles:
1. The state should have a reliable supply of electricity
and have adequate reserves.
2. The transmission and delivery of electricity should be
3. The generation, transmission, and delivery of
electricity should be accomplished with the least detriment to
the environment and public health.
4. The generation, transmission, and delivery of
electricity should be accomplished compatibly with the goals of
5. Electricity generation, transmission, and delivery
facilities should be reasonably secure from damage, taking all
factors into consideration, and recovery from damage should be
6. Electric rates should be affordable as to base rates and
all recovery-clause additions, and there should be sufficient
incentives for utilities to achieve this goal.
7. The state should have a reliable supply of motor vehicle
fuels under normal circumstances and during hurricanes and other
8. In-state research, development, and deployment of
alternative energy technologies and alternative motor vehicle
fuels should be encouraged.
9. When possible, the resources of the state should be used
in achieving the goals enumerated in this subsection.
10. Consumers of energy should be encouraged and given
incentives to be more efficient in their use of energy.
It is the specific intent of the Legislature that this section
does not in any way change the powers, duties, and
responsibilities of the Public Service Commission or the powers,
duties, and responsibilities assigned by the Florida Electrical
(5) The center shall establish one or more corporate
offices, at least one of which must be located in Leon County.
(6) The center shall be governed by a board of directors
consisting of the following members:
(a) The Governor or his or her designee.
(b) The Commissioner of Agriculture or his or her designee.
(c) The Chief Financial Officer or his or her designee.
(d) The Attorney General or his or her designee.
(e) A member appointed by the President of the Senate.
(f) A member appointed by the Speaker of the House of
(g) The chairman of the Florida Public Service Commission
or his or her designee.
(h) The president of Enterprise Florida, Inc., or his or
(i) A representative from the State Board of Education,
selected by the members of that board.
(j) For one initial term, the current chairman of the
Florida Energy Commission and one other member of that commission
to be selected by the commission members.
(k) Any additional board members selected by a consensus of
all existing members of the governing board to assist the center
in carrying out its functions and duties under this section.
(7) A member's term of office may not exceed 4 years, and a
member may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
(8) The Governor shall serve as chairperson of the board.
The members of the board of directors must select a vice
chairperson biennially, upon selection of any new members. The
center's president shall keep a record of the proceedings of the
board of directors; act as custodian of all books, documents, and
papers filed with the board of directors; and keep the minutes of
the board of directors.
(9) The board of directors must meet at least once each
year, upon the call of the chairperson, at the request of the
vice chairperson, or at the request of a majority of the
membership. A majority of the total number of all directors
constitutes a quorum. The board may take official action by a
majority vote of the members present at any meeting at which a
(10) Members of the board of directors serve without
compensation, but members, the president, and staff may be
reimbursed for all reasonable, necessary, and actual expenses, as
determined by the board.
(11) Each member of the board of directors who is not
otherwise required to file a financial disclosure pursuant to s.
8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144 must file a
disclosure of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145.
(12) The center's board of directors must appoint a
corporate president and establish and adjust the president's
compensation. The president is the chief administrative and
operational officer of the board of directors and of the center,
and shall direct and supervise other employees in accomplishing
the goals and tasks set forth in this section.
(13) State officers, agencies, departments, boards, and
commissions may provide such services to the center within each
entity's respective functions as may be requested by the center.
Upon request of the center, the Governor may temporarily transfer
to the center any officers or employees as are considered
necessary from time to time in order to assist the center in
carrying out its functions and duties under this section.
Officers and employees so transferred do not lose their career
service, select exempt, or senior management status or rights.
(14) The center shall receive funding from the state
through the Florida Alternative Energy Center Trust Fund pursuant
to general law. The board of directors, officers, and employees
of the center are responsible for the prudent use of all public
and private funds within the center's control and must ensure
that the use of such funds is in accordance with applicable laws,
bylaws, and contractual requirements. In performing all of its
functions, the center shall take all possible steps to ensure the
maximum benefit to the state. As part of its duties, the center
shall establish strategic priorities, consistent with this
section, to guide funding and resource allocations and ensure the
best use of available resources.
(15) By December 31 each year, the center must submit an
annual report to the Governor, the Commissioner of Agriculture,
the Chief Financial Officer, the Attorney General, the President
of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
(a) A detailed description of the center's activities and
accomplishments for the year.
(b) A certified audit by an independent public accountant
of resources and expenditures prepared by an independent
certified public accountant.
(c) A statement of the center's strategic priorities and an
explanation of their use in guiding resource allocations.
Section 2. Section 288.10895, Florida Statutes, is created
288.10895 Alternative Energy Incentive Program.--
(1) PROGRAM CREATED.--The Alternative Energy Incentive
Program is created and shall be operated by the Florida
Alternative Energy Center. The program shall encourage economic
development and research and development in the state which will
commercialize alternative energy innovations and develop new
alternative energy manufacturing, blending, power generation, and
(2) DEFINITIONS.--As used in this section, the term:
(a) "Alternative energy" means electrical, mechanical, or
thermal energy produced from a method that uses one or more of
the following fuels or energy sources: ethanol, biodiesel,
biomass, biogas, waste heat, fuel cells, hydrogen, solar, hydro,
(b) "Average private-sector wage" means the statewide
average wage in the private sector or the average of all private-
sector wages in the county or in the standard metropolitan area
in which the project is located as determined by the Agency for
(c) "Center" means the Florida Alternative Energy Center.
(d) "Commission" means the Administration Commission, as
(e) "Jobs" means full-time equivalent positions, as that
term is consistent with terms used by the Agency for Workforce
Innovation and the United States Department of Labor for purposes
of unemployment compensation tax administration and employment
estimation, resulting directly from a project in this state. The
term does not include temporary construction jobs.
(f) "Match" or "matching funds" means actual cash outlays
contributed, including, but not limited to, cash outlays for
wages, rental expenses, travel expenses, unrecovered indirect
costs, and purchases of material and supplies as a direct benefit
to the project, or noncash contributions necessary and reasonable
for proper and efficient accomplishment of project objectives.
The value of noncash contributions shall be established using the
1. Rates for donated or volunteer services of any person
must be consistent with their regular rate of pay, or the rate of
pay of those paid for similar work at a similar level of
experience in the labor market, including the value of fringe
2. The value of donated expendable property, such as office
supplies or workshop supplies, may not exceed the fair market
value of the property.
3. The value of donated real property, such as land, may
not exceed the fair market value of the property.
4. Donated space must be valued at fair rental value of
comparable space and facilities in a privately owned building in
5. The value of loaned equipment may not exceed its fair
6. Rates for donated travel expense must be valued at the
approved state rate as defined in s. 112.061.
(g) "President" means the president of the Florida
Alternative Energy Center.
(3) ALTERNATIVE ENERGY BUSINESS PROJECT.--
(a) "Business project" means the location to or expansion
in this state of a business that grows, harvests, and processes
feedstock or other raw materials used in the creation of
alternative energy; manufactures, blends, or distributes
alternative energy; generates power for sale in this state from
an alternative energy source; or develops new or expanded
infrastructure in this state for the commercialization or
distribution of alternative energy.
(b) In order to qualify for consideration under the
Alternative Energy Incentive Program, a business project must, at
a minimum, establish to the satisfaction of the center that:
1. The business project is located in this state;
2. The jobs created by the business project pay an
estimated annual average wage that equals at least 130 percent of
the average private-sector wage. The average wage requirement may
be waived if the center determines that the merits of the
individual project or the specific circumstances warrant such
3. The business project includes matching funds provided by
the applicant, the local community, or other available sources.
The match requirement may be waived if the center determines that
the merits of the individual project or the specific
circumstances warrant such action; and
4. The business project meets one of the following
a. Results in the creation of at least 20 direct, new jobs
b. Consists of an activity that grows, harvests, and
processes feedstock or other raw materials in this state which
are used in the production of alternative energy or is an
activity or product that uses such feedstock or other raw
materials grown or produced in this state;
c. Has a cumulative investment of at least $50 million
within a 5-year period; or
d. Incorporates an innovative new technology or an
innovative application of an existing technology.
(4) ALTERNATIVE ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT.--
(a) "Research and development project" means basic and
applied research that is conducted in this state in the sciences
or engineering and that relates to the development,
manufacturing, blending, or use of new and existing alternative
energy technologies. A research and development project does not
include market research, routine consumer product testing, sales
research, research in the social sciences or psychology,
nontechnological activities, or technical services.
(b) In order to qualify for consideration under the
Alternative Energy Incentive Program, a research and development
project must, at a minimum, establish to the satisfaction of the
1. The research and development project will be located in
2. The jobs created by the research and development project
will pay an estimated annual average wage that equals at least
130 percent of the average private-sector wage. The average wage
requirement may be waived if the center determines that the
merits of the individual project or the specific circumstances
3. The research and development project includes matching
funds provided by the applicant, a public or private university
or research institution, the local community, or other available
sources. The match requirement may be waived if the center
determines that the merits of the individual project or the
specific circumstances warrant such action;
4. The research and development project includes a plan for
significant collaboration with an institution of higher education
5. The research and development project includes a plan for
the commercialization of the research through direct use by the
applicant in this state or the transfer or licensing of new
technology to Florida-based businesses that produce alternative
energy for use or sale within the state.
(5) APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS.--A business project or
research and development project applicant must submit a written
application to the center showing how the award would support the
location of new operations in this state or the expansion of an
existing operation in this state. The application must include,
but need not be limited to:
(a) The applicant's federal employer identification number,
unemployment account number, state sales tax registration number,
or related documentation. If such numbers are not available at
the time of application, the numbers must be submitted to the
center in writing before the disbursement of any payments under
(b) The location in this state at which the business
project or the research and development project is located or is
(c) A description of the type of business activity,
product, or research and development undertaken by the applicant,
including six-digit North American Industry Classification System
codes for all activities included in the project.
(d) The applicant's projected investment in the business
project or the research and development project.
(e) The total investment, from all sources, in the business
project or the research and development project.
(f) The number of net new full-time equivalent jobs in this
state the applicant anticipates having created as of December 31
of each year in the business project or the research and
development project and the average annual wage of such jobs.
(g) The total number of full-time equivalent employees
currently employed by the applicant in this state, if applicable.
(h) The anticipated commencement date of the business
project or the research and development project.
(i) A detailed explanation of why funding under the
Alternative Energy Incentive Program is needed to induce the
applicant to expand or locate in the state and whether an award
would cause the applicant to locate or expand in this state.
(j) If applicable, an estimate of the proportion of the
revenues resulting from the business project or the research and
development project which will be generated outside this state.
(k) A recommendation for specific performance criteria that
the applicant would be expected to achieve in order to receive
payments from the fund and penalties or sanctions for failure to
meet or maintain performance conditions.
(l) The potential for the business project or the research
and development project to stimulate additional investment and
employment opportunities that equal or exceed 130 percent of the
average private-sector wage.
(m) A description of the extent to which the research and
1. Is likely to develop a new, emerging, or evolving form
of alternative energy.
2. Has or could have a significant collaborative research
and development relationship with one or more universities or
community colleges in this state.
3. Will be used by the applicant within this state or
transferred or licensed to Florida-based businesses.
(6) AWARD AMOUNT.--The center may negotiate the proposed
amount of an award for any applicant meeting the requirements of
this section. In negotiating such award, the center shall
consider the amount of the incentive needed to cause the
applicant to locate or expand in this state in conjunction with
other relevant effect and cost information and analysis as
described in this section.
(7) RECOMMENDATION.--After fully considering all of the
criteria identified in this section and completing the
evaluation, the president shall recommend to the commission the
approval or disapproval of an award. In recommending approval of
an award, the president shall include proposed performance
conditions that the applicant must meet in order to obtain
incentive funds and any other conditions that must be met before
the receipt of any incentive funds. The commission shall consult
with the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives before giving approval for an award. Upon
approval of an award, the center shall release the funds pursuant
to the legislative consultation and review requirements set forth
(8) CERTIFICATION.--Upon approval by the commission and
release of the funds as set forth in subsection (7), the
president shall issue a letter certifying the applicant as
qualified for an award. The center and the applicant shall enter
into an agreement that sets forth the conditions for payment of
funds under the Alternative Energy Incentive Program, including,
but not limited to, the total amount of funds awarded, the
performance conditions that must be met in order to obtain the
award or portions of the award, the methodology for validating
performance, the schedule of payments, and sanctions for failure
to meet performance conditions, including any clawback
(9) VALIDATION.--The center shall validate the performance
of business projects and research and development projects that
have received an award under the Alternative Energy Incentive
Program. At the conclusion of an award agreement, or its earlier
termination, the center shall, within 90 days, report the results
of the award under the Alternative Energy Incentive Program to
the members of the commission, the President of the Senate, and
the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.