The state of Florida is known for its great weather -- the state’s official nickname, after all, is the “Sunshine State.” But try selling solar energy in Florida and you’re likely to get a chilly reception, says a Miami-based founder of a solar startup.
Ludovic Roche, co-founder of PWRstation, claims that when it came to keeping his company’s headquarters in Miami, he and business partner, Robert Albertella, were encouraged to take the better offer and leave the U.S.
A citizen-led effort seeks to put a solar power-expanding initiative on Florida’s 2016 ballot. It would allow entities other than utility companies to sell the solar power they generate. At the same time, legislation proposed in Tallahassee would keep Florida as one of only five states that prevent anyone other than utilities from selling solar power.
A petition drive now underway in Florida would get a solar power amendment on the ballot in 2016. If voters approve the proposal, individuals who use the sun to generate electricity would be able to sell that electricity.
For now, only Florida’s utility companies can do that.
Supporters must collect 683,149 signatures to get the proposal before voters. At least 60 percent of voters must approve the amendment for it to be placed in the Constitution.
The coalition includes: the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy, the Florida Chapter of Energy Services Coalition and Environmental Entrepreneurs or E2, an affiliate of the Natural Resources Defense Council.