'Smart Solar' group collects $2.8 million

Opponents argue measure intended to favor utilities


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Continuing to receive heavy funding from electric utilities, a group backing a proposed solar-energy constitutional amendment raised nearly $2.8 million from July 30 to Aug. 5, according to a newly filed finance report.

The group, known as Consumers for Smart Solar, collected $2,797,300 during the week-long period and had raised an overall total of $18.83 million since forming in July 2015.

It had nearly $3.15 million in cash on hand as of Aug. 5.

During the recent period, the group received $1.5 million from Duke Energy; $450,000 from Florida Power & Light; $207,300 from Tampa Electric Co.; and $140,000 from Gulf Power Co., according to the report.

The proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot would generally maintain the status quo in allowing Floridians with solar equipment on their property to sell energy to power companies.

Opponents argue the measure is intended to favor the utilities.