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Byline: ZAC ANDERSON and DOUG SWORD
The effort to attract clean energy industries is making little headway in the Florida Legislature, so local leaders are taking it upon themselves to advance the issue in Sarasota County.
From promoting solar hot water heaters to securing a state pilot program that will provide tax breaks for clean energy companies, leaders here have tried to assert more control over the energy debate.
Their newest plan is still taking shape, but county officials believe a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy could position this region as an attractive location for clean tech companies.
The money will create a "Center for Innovation in Energy and Sustainability," though whether it will be an actual place or more …