As we reported in our last blog, Amendment 1 – The Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Use Initiative – failed to achieve the 60% of voter support needed to pass a state constitutional amendment on November 8th. Proponents said the amendment would have given residents the right to choose to install solar systems while not forcing those without solar to subsidize, while opponents said Florida residents already had to right to install solar energy at their homes, but could have been assessed fees, under the amendment, that would have been cost-prohibitive.
Elon Musk’s SolarCity energy company quickly announced the opening of an office in Clermont after the vote, and CEO Lyndon Rive said the move was a direct result of Amendment 1’s defeat. The move “was made possible when the citizens of Florida rejected the anti-solar Amendment1, which would have made it easier for utilities to add fees to make solar more expensive for our customers,” he said.
SolarCity has plans to expand into other areas of the state, as well, and could operate as many as 20 warehouse locations, bringing about 300 new jobs to Florida.
A1A Solar, out of Jacksonville, also opened an Orlando office promptly after the election. Its founder and CEO Pete Wilking said he is glad to see SolarCity moving into Florida. “I’m glad there’s reputable competition coming to the Sunshine State. We’re not surprised at all that they watched Amendment 1 and waited for it to fail before making such a move. The Sunshine State is a very attractive state for rooftop solar, especially as local utilities were just granted the right to increase their rates.”
Smaller vendors have also noted steady installations once the uncertainly over the amendment was settled.
This post was originally published on CleanEnergyAdvisors.net
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