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Revealed: the Florida power company pushing legislation to slow rooftop solar

Florida Power & Light delivered bill text to a state lawmaker. Its parent company sent $10,000 to her campaign coffers

A worker installs a rooftop solar panel. Photograph: Los Muertos Crew By Mary Ellen Klas for the Miami Herald and Mario Alejandro Ariza for Floodlight

The biggest power company in the US is pushing policy changes that would hamstring rooftop solar power in Florida, delivering legislation for a state lawmaker to introduce, according to records obtained by the Miami Herald and Floodlight.

Florida Power & Light (FPL), whose work with dark money political committees helped secure Republican control of the state Senate, is lobbying to hollow out net metering, a policy that lets Florida homeowners and businesses offset the costs of installing solar panels by selling power back to the company.

Internal emails obtained from the Florida Senate show that an FPL lobbyist, John Holley, sent the text of the bill to state senator Jennifer Bradley’s staff on 18 October. FPL’s parent company contributed $10,000 to Bradely’s political committee on 20 October. A month later, Bradley filed a bill that was almost identical to the one FPL gave her. Another lawmaker introduced the same measure in the House.

Bradley and FPL's parent company said the donation was unrelated to the bill.

Nationwide, power companies are feeling pressured by the rise of distributed renewable energy. Rooftop solar, while critical to fighting climate change, is a threat to the traditional utility business model... READ MORE

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