(1)(a) Upon request by an applicant or upon its own motion, the Florida Public Service Commission shall schedule a public hearing, after notice, to determine the need for a transmission line regulated by the Florida Electric Transmission Line Siting Act, ss. 403.52-403.5365. The notice shall be published at least 21 days before the date set for the hearing and shall be published by the applicant in at least one-quarter page size notice in newspapers of general circulation, and by the commission in the manner specified in chapter 120, by giving notice to counties and regional planning councils in whose jurisdiction the transmission line could be placed, and by giving notice to any persons who have requested to be placed on the mailing list of the commission for this purpose. Within 21 days after receipt of a request for determination by an applicant, the commission shall set a date for the hearing. The hearing shall be held pursuant to s. 350.01 within 45 days after the filing of the request, and a decision shall be rendered within 60 days after such filing.
(b) The commission shall be the sole forum in which to determine the need for a transmission line. The need for a transmission line may not be raised or be the subject of review in another proceeding.
(c) In the determination of need, the commission shall take into account the need for electric system reliability and integrity, the need for abundant, low-cost electrical energy to assure the economic well-being of the residents of this state, the appropriate starting and ending point of the line, and other matters within its jurisdiction deemed relevant to the determination of need. The appropriate starting and ending points of the electric transmission line must be verified by the commission in its determination of need.
(d) The determination by the commission of the need for the transmission line, as defined in s. 403.522(22), is binding on all parties to any certification proceeding under the Florida Electric Transmission Line Siting Act and is a condition precedent to the conduct of the certification hearing prescribed therein. An order entered pursuant to this section constitutes final agency action. (2) The commission shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) To adopt or amend reasonable procedural rules to implement the provisions of this section.
(b) To prescribe the form, content, and necessary supporting documentation and the required studies for the determination of need.
(3) Any time limitation in this section may be altered by the commission upon stipulation between the commission and the applicant or for good cause shown by any party.