No Name Key- battle to save renewable community

Red star marks No Name - the battle continues

After two decades, a tiny Florida island where 43 households live off the grid may be forced to accept Utility power.

The lure of enhanced property prices has persuaded some residents of No Name Key to switch their allegiance.  Recent arrivals on the island have provided the main impetus, but strong support still exists for those wanting to remain off the grid.

“Why isn’t the (local) power utility supporting solar use?” asks Deb Curlee in a letter to her local paper, The Key West Citizen. “I just don’t get it. Energy costs continue to rise and most politicians are supportive of finding alternative sources of energy.

“We have in our midst a shining example of an off-the-grid community on No Name Key. Keys Energy Services should be supportive and proud.

The people who insist on attempting to change No Name Key knew it was an off-the-grid community when they bought their homes. If they want electricity, they should move somewhere else. Like I said at the beginning, I just don’t get it.

The two sides are evenly split. “I have 3, 500 watts of solar power on my roof,” says local John Lentini ” but solar panels will not run air conditioning no matter what people might say.”

True, but good design and thru-breezes needs no air-con and saves energy.

All who want to help keep No Name off the grid should write-in their support  for the solar community at the local Board meeting this Wednesday.


6 Responses

  1. Soon, we will be connecting our homes to the grid. If the key deer could talk they would hold a huge celebration, as the noise and smog pollution will suddenly disappear. The only sound that will be heard, besides the churn of the ocean waves and countless wildlife, will be the sound of my grid tie inverter selling extra power back to the grid. Our home and many others were reviewed by a Florida certified electrical and solar engineering design firm. We have paid for individual designs to incorporate our existing systems to meet Keys energy strict guidelines. In our case we have returned our generator inverter back to the manufacturer. It was completely redone by Outback Inverters, bench tested, and UL certified to all codes. It has been returned to us and will be incorporated in the necessary rewiring.

    The only thing money has to do with this project is that the full cost is being bourne by us who desire it. Anyone who is off-grid can remain that way in perpituity if they so desire. We are not speculators in home values. To most of us this is our permenant home. No one is looking to move or sell. In our case our home is already willed to our sibling. It will be in our family for generations. Not for sale! Who would want to give up the opportunity to live in this paradise.

    Maybe the solarites can buy up the lots the County is selling next to Putney’s home, as they do come with building permits (County issued).
    But then again, I thought that they said the reason we couldn’t have power was to discourage development. Better get Putney reelected so she can save us with more regulations

  2. The island is about evenly split. The overwhelming majority of residents want electricity. At this time, there are only 3 (count them) that have opposed bring electricity to the island. Mr. and Mrs. Kimble are incredulous to assume that they can tell me or other residents how to spend our money. Perhaps they are jealous that they don’t have the money to pony up to electrify their home and they are spewing sour grapes.

  3. Bringing comml power to No Name Key is all about MONEY. Why else would NNKPOAssn be willing to pay over $650,000 upfront and all repair, legal and storm costs to Keys Energy. That money could pay for a truly great solar electric system for 100% of the homeowners if property development wasn’t their true motive. This will never be the Hamptons as NNKPOA desires. We bought on NNK for the self sustained life style and for it’s physical beauty without power poles and wires.

  4. This is America and I can never recall a citizen being “forced” to take electricity against their will. Those who are making this claim are ignorant or intentional trying to deceive the public.

  5. No one is being forced to connect to the grid. Only those willing to pay to have grid-tie solar homes will be connected. Which is the overwhelming majority of the residents. Those that choose to stay off-grid will.

  6. I don’t get it. I would think the people who want to remain off-grid would be grandfathered in, no? That’s the way it usually works. If people have a choice, I’m all for free will – if they’re all forced to be on the grid, I’d fight it if I were in their position. Key thing is not to sign anything, not enter into any contracts with the new utility company – if there’s any pressure, all off-gridders should chip in for a lawyer. If they do not contract, their position will be much stronger in court, to be grandfathered in.

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