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Lawmakers Aiming For The Sky With Renewable Energy Amendment Campaign


Lawmakers say they’re launching a campaign to promote a renewable energy amendment they voted last month to put on the August 30 primary ballot.

The amendment would extend intangibles and property tax breaks to businesses that install solar power and other renewable energy devices. Experts say it could cut the cost of solar power by 5 cents per kilowatt hour.  

That’s important because Florida’s tax and regulatory structure has kept industry giants out of a potentially lucrative market. Here’s Solar City policy director Kevin Auerbacher .

“Tangible personal property tax is another issue that we see as another barrier, a potential barrier, in the Sunshine State.”

A broad array of groups support the amendment, including the Florida Retail Federation, the Christian Coalition and environmental groups.

But the amendment has to pass by 60 percent or more.  And voters could be confused by two competing solar-power ballot initiatives. Republican Senator Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg says the campaign will have to be well-funded.

“We’re really going to have to do some polling to try to figure out where the state of Florida is on this, where the people of the state of Florida are. And then I think let that determine our raise. But I’m sure it will be in the millions of dollars.”

According to industry studies, Florida has the third-highest potential for solar power of all the states. But it ranks 12th in actual installations.