Help Design the Energy Future for the City of Sarasota, Florida

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For the first time in 30 years, the City of Sarasota is without an electric franchise agreement. Sarasota Power needs you to help design a 30-year energy plan for our city - Sarasota, Florida.

Sarasota Power

"Sarasota can be a model city for the United States. We don't want to let this opportunity pass us by." Susan Nilon, Founder of Sarasota Power

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Right now, the City of Sarasota has to decide whether or not to renew a 30-year agreement with Florida Power and Light (FPL). In addition to the FPL franchise agreement, the city of Sarasota is also considering owning and operating a municipal utility, purchasing our energy from some other source, or just operating without a franchise agreement.

With energy changing so rapidly, local control over electricity promises faster and better adaptation. At Sarasota Power, we know the importance of having a smart, comprehensive plan in place before the city makes this long-term commitment. We feel that before the City can go any further, there has to be an opportunity that promotes forward thinking ideas and a well-rounded discussion to come up with an energy blueprint that will help us transition into the future.

Sarasota Power is asking for ideas that will enable us to implement our own electrical policy. This plan has to work at a local level. It must be locally controlled and locally managed, and it cannot depend on state legislation to make it happen.

We ask you to design what that plan should look like.

Our goal is to answer these following concerns:

How can we best develop a system that allows us to control what kind of electricity we use, foster savings, reduce our carbon footprint, improve reliability, and continue to produce a stream of revenue for our city that will enable us to keep one foot into the future? How do we foster the use of renewable energy and ensure the use of best practices when new technologies become available? And how can we keep ourselves in the best position when renewable energy achieves grid parity - which is predicted to occur within the next few years?

From September 6th, 2010 to October 6th 2010, we will be accepting entries for a comprehensive energy plan for the city. Plans must be well-rounded, all inclusive, and consider not only technical aspects, but what institutions will oversee and run it, and how we will pay for it.

As entries are submitted, they will be posted on the website – http://www.SarasotaPower.org for everyone to see. Visitors to the site will then have the chance to vote on the top 25 entries. At the closing of October 7th, 2010, those 25 entries will be submitted to a panel of experts to determine the top 5 entries. These 5 entries will then be submitted to the City Commission for consideration at the City Commission Meeting of Oct 17th, 2010 when they will also consider the next draft of FPL’s franchise agreement.

For more information and complete guidelines, go to: http://www.SarasotaPower.org or email us at: SarasotaPower(at)gmail(dot)com

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Susan Nilon
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