February 27, 2021
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Florida Senate - 2008 (Reformatted) SB 414

By Senator Bennett

21-00432-08 2008414__

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A bill to be entitled

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An act relating to energy; creating s. 288.10894, F.S.;

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creating the Florida Alternative Energy Center; providing

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legislative findings; providing definitions; requiring

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that the center comply with public-meetings and public-

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records laws; providing for the organization, purpose, and

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duties of the center; providing for the membership of the

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board of directors of the center; requiring the disclosure

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of financial interests by board members; requiring an

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annual report; creating s. 288.10895, F.S.; creating the

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Alternative Energy Incentive Program for the purpose of

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encouraging economic development and research; providing

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definitions; providing for the program to be operated by

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the Florida Alternative Energy Center; providing the

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qualification criteria for a business to receive an award

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under the program; providing a grant-application process

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and requirements for such application; providing for an

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evaluation and award process; requiring that the center

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validate the performance of projects funded under the

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program; providing an effective date.

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Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

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     Section 1.  Section 288.10894, Florida Statutes, is created

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to read:

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     288.10894 Florida Alternative Energy Center; findings;

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creation; membership; organization; purpose; duties; powers.--

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     (1) The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest

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to promote alternative energy technologies in this state,

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including alternative fuels and technologies for electrical power

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plants, electric motor vehicles, energy conservation, distributed

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generation, advanced transmission methods, and the control of

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pollution and greenhouse gases. Both Florida and the United

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States are overly dependent on foreign oil for meeting the energy

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needs of buildings and motor vehicles. Alternative energy and

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energy-conservation technologies have the potential to decrease

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this dependency, minimize the volatility of fuel costs, and

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improve environmental conditions. In-state research, development,

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deployment, and use of these technologies can make the state a

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leader in new and innovative technologies and encourage

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investment and economic development in this state.

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     (2) As used in this section, the term:

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     (a) "Center" means the Florida Alternative Energy Center.

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     (b) "Alternative energy" means energy technologies that are

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undeveloped or less than established in current markets. The term

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includes, but is not limited to: biomass; agricultural products

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and byproducts; municipal solid waste, including landfill

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injection, landfill mining, and landfill gas; solar thermal and

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solar photovoltaic energy; geothermal; ocean energy, including

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wave or thermal; hydrogen fuel; fuel cells; energy conservation,

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including building, equipment, and appliance efficiency

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technologies; enhancements to the transmission of electricity,

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including advanced transmission lines; distributed generation;

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ethanol, biodiesel, and similar synthetic fuels; and technologies

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relating to limiting pollutants and greenhouse gases.

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     (3)(a) There is created a public corporation and a public

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body corporate and politic, to be known as the "Florida

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Alternative Energy Center." It is the intent of the Legislature

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that the Florida Alternative Energy Center constitutes an

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entrepreneurial public corporation organized to provide and

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promote the public welfare by administering the governmental

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function of promoting the development of alternative energy in

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this state and that the corporation is not a department of the

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executive branch of state government within the scope and meaning

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of s. 6, Art. IV of the State Constitution, and is not

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functionally located within any state agency or department.

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     (b) The corporation is constituted as a public

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instrumentality, and the exercise by the corporation of the power

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conferred by this section is deemed to be the performance of an

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essential public function. The corporation constitutes an agency

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for the purposes of s. 120.52. The corporation is subject to

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chapter 119, subject to exceptions applicable to the corporation,

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and to the provisions of chapter 286; however, the corporation

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may provide notice of internal review committee meetings for

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competitive proposals or procurement to applicants by mail or

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facsimile rather than by means of publication. The corporation is

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not governed by chapter 607, but by the provisions of this

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section. If for any reason the establishment of the corporation

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is deemed in violation of law, such provision is severable and

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the remainder of this act remains in full force and effect.

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     (c) The corporation is a corporation primarily acting as an

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instrumentality of the state, within the meaning of s. 768.28.

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     (4) The center is the principal organization in the state

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for the promotion of alternative energy technology. Its goals are

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to minimize dependence on foreign oil, with the maximum overall

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benefit to the state, and, where possible, to minimize the

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effects of greenhouse gases. The center shall accomplish these

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goals by consolidating in-state resources and activities into a

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unified forum to better coordinate, facilitate, and fund

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research, development, deployment, and use of alternative energy

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technologies. In order to make better use of limited resources,

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the center shall focus on projects having near-term, in-state

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benefits. Additionally, in making decisions concerning research,

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development, or deployment projects, and in awarding grants and

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other outlays, the center shall determine which of the following

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elements of product and market development to focus upon in order

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to achieve the greatest benefit with respect to research and

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manufacturing, in the wholesale and retail markets, and for

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consumers. More specifically, the center shall:

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     (a) Bring together existing resources by:

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     1. Assisting in the integration of state-government energy

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programs.

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     2. Developing an information exchange system, including:

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     a. Creating a computer database, accessible by any

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interested person, by gathering and indexing all information

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concerning activities in this state related to programs of

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alternative energy technology research, development, and

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deployment in universities, at all levels of government agencies,

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and in private industry. The database must include a current

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index and profile of all research activities, identified by

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alternative energy technology area, including a summary of the

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project, the amount and sources of funding, and anticipated

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completion dates or, in case of completed research, the

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conclusions, recommendations, and applicability of research to

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state government and private-sector functions.

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     b. Developing an interactive electronic information point

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where interested persons can find information and connect with

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other interested persons.

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     c. Holding conferences for the purpose of providing

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additional information exchange and educating the public.

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     (b) Administer state-funded grants and capital outlay

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programs, including developing an application program to

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determine awards of those grants and outlays, and assist

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interested persons in obtaining additional funding for

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alternative energy technology projects.

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     (c) Explore the problems faced by persons developing

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technology in this state and determine the problems, such as

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problems in research, development, obtaining start-up capital and

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financing, or finding buyers for the technology, and assist in

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resolving these problems.

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     (d) In cooperation with Enterprise Florida, Inc., promote

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the state as a location for businesses having operations related

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to alternative energy technologies.

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     (e) Develop recommendations for legislation to establish a

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state energy policy. The center shall continually review the

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state energy policy and recommend to the Legislature any

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additional necessary changes or improvements. The recommendations

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of the center shall be based on the guiding principles of

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reliability, efficiency, affordability, and diversity, and more

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specifically on the following principles:

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     1. The state should have a reliable supply of electricity

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and have adequate reserves.

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     2. The transmission and delivery of electricity should be

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reliable.

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     3. The generation, transmission, and delivery of

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electricity should be accomplished with the least detriment to

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the environment and public health.

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     4. The generation, transmission, and delivery of

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electricity should be accomplished compatibly with the goals of

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growth management.

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     5. Electricity generation, transmission, and delivery

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facilities should be reasonably secure from damage, taking all

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factors into consideration, and recovery from damage should be

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prompt.

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     6. Electric rates should be affordable as to base rates and

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all recovery-clause additions, and there should be sufficient

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incentives for utilities to achieve this goal.

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     7. The state should have a reliable supply of motor vehicle

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fuels under normal circumstances and during hurricanes and other

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emergency situations.

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     8. In-state research, development, and deployment of

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alternative energy technologies and alternative motor vehicle

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fuels should be encouraged.

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     9. When possible, the resources of the state should be used

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in achieving the goals enumerated in this subsection.

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     10. Consumers of energy should be encouraged and given

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incentives to be more efficient in their use of energy.

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It is the specific intent of the Legislature that this section

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does not in any way change the powers, duties, and

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responsibilities of the Public Service Commission or the powers,

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duties, and responsibilities assigned by the Florida Electrical

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Power Plant Siting Act, ss. 403.501-403.518.

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     (5) The center shall establish one or more corporate

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offices, at least one of which must be located in Leon County.

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     (6) The center shall be governed by a board of directors

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consisting of the following members:

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     (a) The Governor or his or her designee.

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     (b) The Commissioner of Agriculture or his or her designee.

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     (c) The Chief Financial Officer or his or her designee.

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     (d) The Attorney General or his or her designee.

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     (e) A member appointed by the President of the Senate.

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     (f) A member appointed by the Speaker of the House of

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Representatives.

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     (g) The chairman of the Florida Public Service Commission

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or his or her designee.

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     (h) The president of Enterprise Florida, Inc., or his or

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her designee.

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     (i) A representative from the State Board of Education,

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selected by the members of that board.

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     (j) For one initial term, the current chairman of the

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Florida Energy Commission and one other member of that commission

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to be selected by the commission members.

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     (k) Any additional board members selected by a consensus of

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all existing members of the governing board to assist the center

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in carrying out its functions and duties under this section.

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     (7) A member's term of office may not exceed 4 years, and a

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member may not serve more than two consecutive terms.

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     (8) The Governor shall serve as chairperson of the board.

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The members of the board of directors must select a vice

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chairperson biennially, upon selection of any new members. The

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center's president shall keep a record of the proceedings of the

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board of directors; act as custodian of all books, documents, and

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papers filed with the board of directors; and keep the minutes of

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the board of directors.

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     (9) The board of directors must meet at least once each

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year, upon the call of the chairperson, at the request of the

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vice chairperson, or at the request of a majority of the

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membership. A majority of the total number of all directors

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constitutes a quorum. The board may take official action by a

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majority vote of the members present at any meeting at which a

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quorum is present.

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     (10) Members of the board of directors serve without

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compensation, but members, the president, and staff may be

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reimbursed for all reasonable, necessary, and actual expenses, as

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determined by the board.

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     (11) Each member of the board of directors who is not

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otherwise required to file a financial disclosure pursuant to s.

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8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3144 must file a

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disclosure of financial interests pursuant to s. 112.3145.

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     (12) The center's board of directors must appoint a

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corporate president and establish and adjust the president's

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compensation. The president is the chief administrative and

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operational officer of the board of directors and of the center,

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and shall direct and supervise other employees in accomplishing

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the goals and tasks set forth in this section.

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     (13) State officers, agencies, departments, boards, and

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commissions may provide such services to the center within each

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entity's respective functions as may be requested by the center.

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Upon request of the center, the Governor may temporarily transfer

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to the center any officers or employees as are considered

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necessary from time to time in order to assist the center in

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carrying out its functions and duties under this section.

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Officers and employees so transferred do not lose their career

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service, select exempt, or senior management status or rights.

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     (14) The center shall receive funding from the state

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through the Florida Alternative Energy Center Trust Fund pursuant

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to general law. The board of directors, officers, and employees

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of the center are responsible for the prudent use of all public

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and private funds within the center's control and must ensure

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that the use of such funds is in accordance with applicable laws,

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bylaws, and contractual requirements. In performing all of its

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functions, the center shall take all possible steps to ensure the

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maximum benefit to the state. As part of its duties, the center

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shall establish strategic priorities, consistent with this

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section, to guide funding and resource allocations and ensure the

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best use of available resources.

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     (15) By December 31 each year, the center must submit an

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annual report to the Governor, the Commissioner of Agriculture,

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the Chief Financial Officer, the Attorney General, the President

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of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives

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containing:

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     (a) A detailed description of the center's activities and

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accomplishments for the year.

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     (b) A certified audit by an independent public accountant

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of resources and expenditures prepared by an independent

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certified public accountant.

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     (c) A statement of the center's strategic priorities and an

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explanation of their use in guiding resource allocations.

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     Section 2.  Section 288.10895, Florida Statutes, is created

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to read:

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     288.10895 Alternative Energy Incentive Program.--

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     (1) PROGRAM CREATED.--The Alternative Energy Incentive

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Program is created and shall be operated by the Florida

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Alternative Energy Center. The program shall encourage economic

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development and research and development in the state which will

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commercialize alternative energy innovations and develop new

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alternative energy manufacturing, blending, power generation, and

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distribution facilities.

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     (2) DEFINITIONS.--As used in this section, the term:

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     (a) "Alternative energy" means electrical, mechanical, or

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thermal energy produced from a method that uses one or more of

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the following fuels or energy sources: ethanol, biodiesel,

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biomass, biogas, waste heat, fuel cells, hydrogen, solar, hydro,

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wind, or geothermal.

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     (b) "Average private-sector wage" means the statewide

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average wage in the private sector or the average of all private-

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sector wages in the county or in the standard metropolitan area

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in which the project is located as determined by the Agency for

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Workforce Innovation.

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     (c) "Center" means the Florida Alternative Energy Center.

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     (d) "Commission" means the Administration Commission, as

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set forth in s. 14.202.

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     (e) "Jobs" means full-time equivalent positions, as that

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term is consistent with terms used by the Agency for Workforce

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Innovation and the United States Department of Labor for purposes

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of unemployment compensation tax administration and employment

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estimation, resulting directly from a project in this state. The

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term does not include temporary construction jobs.

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     (f) "Match" or "matching funds" means actual cash outlays

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contributed, including, but not limited to, cash outlays for

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wages, rental expenses, travel expenses, unrecovered indirect

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costs, and purchases of material and supplies as a direct benefit

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to the project, or noncash contributions necessary and reasonable

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for proper and efficient accomplishment of project objectives.

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The value of noncash contributions shall be established using the

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following guidelines:

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     1. Rates for donated or volunteer services of any person

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must be consistent with their regular rate of pay, or the rate of

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pay of those paid for similar work at a similar level of

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experience in the labor market, including the value of fringe

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benefits.

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     2. The value of donated expendable property, such as office

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supplies or workshop supplies, may not exceed the fair market

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value of the property.

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     3. The value of donated real property, such as land, may

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not exceed the fair market value of the property.

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     4. Donated space must be valued at fair rental value of

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comparable space and facilities in a privately owned building in

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the same locale.

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     5. The value of loaned equipment may not exceed its fair

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rental value.

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     6. Rates for donated travel expense must be valued at the

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approved state rate as defined in s. 112.061.

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     (g) "President" means the president of the Florida

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Alternative Energy Center.

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     (3) ALTERNATIVE ENERGY BUSINESS PROJECT.--

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     (a) "Business project" means the location to or expansion

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in this state of a business that grows, harvests, and processes

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feedstock or other raw materials used in the creation of

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alternative energy; manufactures, blends, or distributes

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alternative energy; generates power for sale in this state from

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an alternative energy source; or develops new or expanded

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infrastructure in this state for the commercialization or

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distribution of alternative energy.

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     (b) In order to qualify for consideration under the

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Alternative Energy Incentive Program, a business project must, at

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a minimum, establish to the satisfaction of the center that:

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     1. The business project is located in this state;

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     2. The jobs created by the business project pay an

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estimated annual average wage that equals at least 130 percent of

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the average private-sector wage. The average wage requirement may

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be waived if the center determines that the merits of the

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individual project or the specific circumstances warrant such

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action;

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     3. The business project includes matching funds provided by

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the applicant, the local community, or other available sources.

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The match requirement may be waived if the center determines that

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the merits of the individual project or the specific

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circumstances warrant such action; and

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     4. The business project meets one of the following

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criteria:

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     a. Results in the creation of at least 20 direct, new jobs

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at the business;

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     b. Consists of an activity that grows, harvests, and

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processes feedstock or other raw materials in this state which

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are used in the production of alternative energy or is an

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activity or product that uses such feedstock or other raw

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materials grown or produced in this state;

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     c. Has a cumulative investment of at least $50 million

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within a 5-year period; or

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     d. Incorporates an innovative new technology or an

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innovative application of an existing technology.

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     (4) ALTERNATIVE ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT.--

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     (a) "Research and development project" means basic and

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applied research that is conducted in this state in the sciences

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or engineering and that relates to the development,

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manufacturing, blending, or use of new and existing alternative

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energy technologies. A research and development project does not

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include market research, routine consumer product testing, sales

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research, research in the social sciences or psychology,

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nontechnological activities, or technical services.

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     (b) In order to qualify for consideration under the

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Alternative Energy Incentive Program, a research and development

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project must, at a minimum, establish to the satisfaction of the

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center that:

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     1. The research and development project will be located in

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this state;

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     2. The jobs created by the research and development project

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will pay an estimated annual average wage that equals at least

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130 percent of the average private-sector wage. The average wage

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requirement may be waived if the center determines that the

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merits of the individual project or the specific circumstances

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warrant such action;

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     3. The research and development project includes matching

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funds provided by the applicant, a public or private university

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or research institution, the local community, or other available

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sources. The match requirement may be waived if the center

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determines that the merits of the individual project or the

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specific circumstances warrant such action;

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     4. The research and development project includes a plan for

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significant collaboration with an institution of higher education

383

in the state; and

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     5. The research and development project includes a plan for

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the commercialization of the research through direct use by the

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applicant in this state or the transfer or licensing of new

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technology to Florida-based businesses that produce alternative

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energy for use or sale within the state.

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     (5) APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS.--A business project or

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research and development project applicant must submit a written

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application to the center showing how the award would support the

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location of new operations in this state or the expansion of an

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existing operation in this state. The application must include,

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but need not be limited to:

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     (a) The applicant's federal employer identification number,

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unemployment account number, state sales tax registration number,

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or related documentation. If such numbers are not available at

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the time of application, the numbers must be submitted to the

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center in writing before the disbursement of any payments under

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this section.

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     (b) The location in this state at which the business

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project or the research and development project is located or is

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to be located.

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     (c) A description of the type of business activity,

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product, or research and development undertaken by the applicant,

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including six-digit North American Industry Classification System

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codes for all activities included in the project.

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     (d) The applicant's projected investment in the business

409

project or the research and development project.

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     (e) The total investment, from all sources, in the business

411

project or the research and development project.

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     (f) The number of net new full-time equivalent jobs in this

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state the applicant anticipates having created as of December 31

414

of each year in the business project or the research and

415

development project and the average annual wage of such jobs.

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     (g) The total number of full-time equivalent employees

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currently employed by the applicant in this state, if applicable.

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     (h) The anticipated commencement date of the business

419

project or the research and development project.

420

     (i) A detailed explanation of why funding under the

421

Alternative Energy Incentive Program is needed to induce the

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applicant to expand or locate in the state and whether an award

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would cause the applicant to locate or expand in this state.

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     (j) If applicable, an estimate of the proportion of the

425

revenues resulting from the business project or the research and

426

development project which will be generated outside this state.

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     (k) A recommendation for specific performance criteria that

428

the applicant would be expected to achieve in order to receive

429

payments from the fund and penalties or sanctions for failure to

430

meet or maintain performance conditions.

431

     (l) The potential for the business project or the research

432

and development project to stimulate additional investment and

433

employment opportunities that equal or exceed 130 percent of the

434

average private-sector wage.

435

     (m) A description of the extent to which the research and

436

development project:

437

     1. Is likely to develop a new, emerging, or evolving form

438

of alternative energy.

439

     2. Has or could have a significant collaborative research

440

and development relationship with one or more universities or

441

community colleges in this state.

442

     3. Will be used by the applicant within this state or

443

transferred or licensed to Florida-based businesses.

444

     (6) AWARD AMOUNT.--The center may negotiate the proposed

445

amount of an award for any applicant meeting the requirements of

446

this section. In negotiating such award, the center shall

447

consider the amount of the incentive needed to cause the

448

applicant to locate or expand in this state in conjunction with

449

other relevant effect and cost information and analysis as

450

described in this section.

451

     (7) RECOMMENDATION.--After fully considering all of the

452

criteria identified in this section and completing the

453

evaluation, the president shall recommend to the commission the

454

approval or disapproval of an award. In recommending approval of

455

an award, the president shall include proposed performance

456

conditions that the applicant must meet in order to obtain

457

incentive funds and any other conditions that must be met before

458

the receipt of any incentive funds. The commission shall consult

459

with the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of

460

Representatives before giving approval for an award. Upon

461

approval of an award, the center shall release the funds pursuant

462

to the legislative consultation and review requirements set forth

463

in s. 216.177.

464

     (8) CERTIFICATION.--Upon approval by the commission and

465

release of the funds as set forth in subsection (7), the

466

president shall issue a letter certifying the applicant as

467

qualified for an award. The center and the applicant shall enter

468

into an agreement that sets forth the conditions for payment of

469

funds under the Alternative Energy Incentive Program, including,

470

but not limited to, the total amount of funds awarded, the

471

performance conditions that must be met in order to obtain the

472

award or portions of the award, the methodology for validating

473

performance, the schedule of payments, and sanctions for failure

474

to meet performance conditions, including any clawback

475

provisions.

476

     (9) VALIDATION.--The center shall validate the performance

477

of business projects and research and development projects that

478

have received an award under the Alternative Energy Incentive

479

Program. At the conclusion of an award agreement, or its earlier

480

termination, the center shall, within 90 days, report the results

481

of the award under the Alternative Energy Incentive Program to

482

the members of the commission, the President of the Senate, and

483

the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

484

     Section 3.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.

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