Voters in Florida Face Crucial Solar Power Decisions

Voters in sun-bathed Florida will face a decision Tuesday that could weigh heavily on the use and cost of solar power in the state.

The solar power industry is opposed to Amendment 1, a proposal to amend the state constitution that will appear on the ballot as ``Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Use Initiative.''

Utilities, including Florida Power & Light Co., have spent upward of $20 million trying to get the amendment on the ballot.

The two sides are sharply divided. The solar industry says it could penalize users of sun-derived power who sell their excess energy back to the grid. Utility companies say the amendment would prevent non-solar users from subsidizing the solar users who profit from the excess energy that they produce.

Here is the official ballot language of Amendment 1, Florida's latest solar-related amendment

Ballot Title:

Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice

Ballot Summary:

This amendment establishes a right under Florida's constitution for consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use. State and local governments shall retain their abilities to protect consumer rights and public health, safety and welfare, and to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric grid access to those who do.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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