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Governor Crist Applauds Release of Recovery Act Energy Funding by U.S. Department of Energy

Florida among the first ten states receiving approval under the State Energy Program Recovery Act Grant

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist today, continuing his commitment to increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, applauded the United States Department of Energy’s announcement that Florida is among the first ten states approved to begin implementation of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding under the State Energy Program Grant. Today’s approval releases more than $63 million to the Florida Energy and Climate Commission to initiate programs designed to spur economic development in renewable energy and energy efficiency across the State of Florida.

“We’ve made tremendous strides forward in Florida against the threat of global climate change while advancing our economic and energy security,” said Governor Crist. “The funding made available under the Recovery Act will quicken our pace in transforming Florida’s economy through clean and renewable energy production.”

Florida’s application for energy-related Recovery Act funding builds upon Governor Crist’s energy and economic development agenda for clean and renewable energy. Funding will support Florida’s solar rebate program, economic development grants for the installation of renewable energy projects, and the development of biofuel production and retail dispensing facilities. In addition to creating new job opportunities, these production and dispensing facilities will provide new markets for Florida agriculture and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Florida’s plan also includes funding for the SunSmart Schools program to install solar panels at as many as 190 kindergarten through 12th grade schools across the state that also serve as emergency shelters. The solar equipment will provide backup power and enhance the science and math curriculum for students.

Florida is slated to receive more than $126 million under the State Energy Program Grant. The remaining funding will be released as state government makes timely progress in fund disbursement and reporting.

The implementation of Recovery Act funding under the State Energy Program builds on Governor Crist’s past energy and climate change initiatives. In 2007, Governor Crist signed three executive orders to reduce Florida’s greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, and remove market barriers for renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind energy. In 2008, he signed the 2008 Energy and Economic Development Legislation, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy efficiency and encouraging investment in alternative and renewable energy technologies. Among its requirements, this comprehensive, bipartisan legislation authorizes the development of a cap-and-trade regulatory program; creates a renewable fuel standard; and creates the Florida Energy & Climate Commission as a central office for state energy and climate change programs and policies.

For more information on Florida’s energy and climate change initiatives, please visit