The committee backing the solar power amendment on the 2016 ballot raised nearly $2.8 million over two days to start the month after posting no contributions since June.
Consumers for Smart Solar has raised more than $18.8 million since it began operations in July 2015, mainly through massive support from the utility industry. As of Aug. 5, the committee has about $3.1 million of that money on hand.
Between July 30 and Aug. 5, Smart Solar took in eight contributions, including six-figure sums from Florida Power and Light, Tampa Electric Company and Gulf Power Company. Duke Energy also came in with a $1.5 million check July 30.
The committee also brought in $100,000 from the Associated Industries of Florida and $200,000 from Floridians for a Stronger Democracy, the political committee chaired by AIF lobbyist Ryan Tyson.
Expenditures for the month came it at $64,976, including $37,824 for polling from Alabama-based Hill Research Consultants and $27,102 for consulting and web hosting services from Winter Park-based Consensus Communications.
The ballot initiative would give Floridians the right to own or lease solar equipment to generate power for their own use, and would also give local government authority 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.”
Critics say the amendment merely codifies the rights Floridians already enjoy while opening the door to utility companies charging a special fee for solar panel users to maintain access to the power grid.
The amendment will be on the November ballot and requires 60 percent approval from voters to pass.