Florida sees strange bedfellows in fight over solar power

by
February 21, 2015

A broad political coalition, from liberal environmentalists to tea-party conservatives, has banded together in Florida to press for something that ironically is in short supply in the Sunshine State: solar power.

The group, which also includes business owners, libertarians and Christian conservatives, launched a campaign in January to place an initiative on the state’s 2016 ballot that would eliminate restrictions it says are suppressing the solar industry and protecting utilities from competition.

Though Florida is the third-most-populous state in the country—after California and Texas—and has plenty of sunshine, it ranks 13th in installed solar capacity, with 229 megawatts, compared with 8,544 megawatts in top-ranked California, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Pennsylvania, ranked 12th, has 240 megawatts of capacity.

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