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Voters in Florida face crucial solar power decisions

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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…

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Florida Supreme Court won’t toss out solar ballot question

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The Florida Supreme Court rejected a request to invalidate a proposed solar-power constitutional amendment that’s supported by power companies. The court made its decision Friday, four days before the election and after 5.2 million votes had already been cast by mail and at early voting sites. The challenge came after a leading proponent of Amendment 1 was recorded saying that the measure was written to appear pro-solar, even though it could end up restricting solar growth in Florida by raising…

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Javier Palomarez & Julio Fuentes: Yes on Amendment 1: Small business supports solar, fair policies for all

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Over the years, the Hispanic community has grown to be a major force within the U.S. economy. In 2015, the Hispanic population in the United States spent $1.3 trillion on consumer products — a number that’s projected to grow to $1.7 trillion by 2020. Over time, Hispanic Americans have developed a strong presence across a broad range of sectors, and Hispanic businesses have made tremendous strides with explosive economic growth. Today, with 4.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses throughout the U.S., over…

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Tampa Bay Times’ mind-boggling figures in ‘rooftop solar fight’ don’t add up

in Peter/Top Headlines by

Consider the eye-grabbing Tampa Bay Times’ front-page headline Wednesday: $43M spent to limit solar. Beyond the silliness of assuming that every dollar utilities donated this cycle is part of a plot to fight rooftop solar — as if there is nothing else they care about — the story is screwed up six ways to Sunday. If a politician were to use these numbers, PolitiFact would rate them somewhere in the range of Mostly False to Pants on Fire. Let’s start from the top: “Lost…

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Polling shows voters support solar Amendment 1, without understanding what it does

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Most Floridians say they are backing a solar amendment on the ballot this November, even though they may not be entirely sure what it will do. POLITICO Florida is reporting on a new St. Leo University poll that voters are strongly behind the solar ballot initiative Amendment 1, which claims to give Florida residents the right to own solar devices, while barring utilities from subsidizing those who own those devices. “Despite the lack of knowledge about what the amendment would…

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Solar incentives the focus of new Consumer Energy Alliance report

in Statewide by

The cost of installing rooftop solar systems is at a record low due in part to government and utility incentives, according to a new report. The report, commissioned by the Consumer Energy Alliance, found incentives have significantly reduced the residential customers’ costs of installing rooftop solar systems. Michael Whatley, executive vice president of the Consumer Energy Alliance, said in a statement the organization is hopeful the report will help produce “pro-solar, pro-grid, and pro-consumer policies here in Florida to ensure…

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Joe Henderson: For solar energy supporters, Amendment 1 raises red flags

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

In the Aug. 30 primary, Florida voters made it unmistakably clear how they feel about solar energy. Nearly 73 percent of them voted to approve an amendment providing a tax break for businesses that convert to solar power. That was just what backers of clean energy in Florida wanted, of course. Now they have a new request for voters: When Amendment 1, otherwise known as Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Use Initiative, comes up in November, those same…

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