TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A utility-backed ballot proposal that would outline rules about solar power in Florida was sent Tuesday to the state Supreme Court for review.
Attorney General Pam Bondi's office forwarded the "Consumers for Smart Solar" proposal to the state's top court to determine if the proposed ballot language is limited to a single subject, the wording is unambiguous and the summary meets a 75-word limit.
The proposed constitutional amendment -- financially backed by Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy, Gulf Power and Tampa Electric -- is one of two rival solar amendments that could be on the November 2016 ballot.
The Consumers for Smart Solar ballot summary states: "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."
If the court signs off on the wording, backers of the initiative would need to submit a total of 683,149 valid petition signatures by Feb. 1 to get on the November 2016 ballot.
Consumers for Smart Solar had submitted 250,007 valid signatures as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the state Division of Elections.
The Supreme Court has already approved ballot language for the rival initiative, sponsored by a group called "Floridians for Solar Choice."
That proposal, in part, would allow businesses to generate and sell up to two megawatts of solar power to customers on the same or neighboring properties.
In doing so, it would largely shield the solar producers from state and local regulations.
Floridians for Solar Choice had submitted 230,763 signatures as of Tuesday.