Voters in Florida face crucial solar power decisions

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Voters in sun-bathed Florida will face a decision Tuesday that could weigh heavily on the use — and cost — of solar power in the state.

The solar power industry is opposed to Amendment 1, a proposal to amend the state constitution that will appear on the ballot as "Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Use Initiative."

Utilities — including Florida Power & Light Co. — have spent upward of $20 million trying to get the amendment on the ballot.

The two sides are sharply divided. The solar industry says it could penalize users of sun-derived power who sell their excess energy back to the grid. Utility companies say the amendment would prevent non-solar users from subsidizing the solar users who profit from the excess energy that they produce.