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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/HB 1411 — Floating Solar Facilities

by Commerce Committee; Local Administration and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; and Rep. Avila and others (CS/SB 1338 by Community Affairs Committee and Senator Diaz)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Regulated Industries Committee (RI)

The bill promotes the expanded use of floating solar facilities (FSF) by requiring local governments to amend development regulations. Under the bill, FSFs are required to be a permitted use in appropriate land use categories in each local government’s comprehensive plan.

A “floating solar facility” is defined as a solar facility located on a wastewater treatment pond, abandoned limerock mine area, stormwater treatment pond, reclaimed water pond, or other water storage reservoir. The bill adopts the existing definition for solar facility, under s. 163.3205(2), F.S.

Under the bill, counties and municipalities are authorized to specify buffer and landscaping requirements. Such requirements may not exceed those for similar uses involving solar facility construction permitted in agricultural land use categories and zoning districts.

The bill requires the Office of Energy within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to develop and submit recommendations to the Legislature by December 31, 2022, providing a regulatory framework for private and public sector entities that implement FSFs.

Under the bill, FSF construction is prohibited in an Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir project, if the local governments involved determine that there would be a negative impact on that area or project.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2022.

Vote: Senate 39-0; House 112-0