Florida Senate - 2022 SB 1338 By Senator Diaz 36-01616-22 20221338__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to floating solar facilities; creating 3 s. 163.32051, F.S.; providing legislative findings 4 regarding floating solar facilities; defining the term 5 “floating solar facility”; providing that a floating 6 solar facility must be a permitted use in appropriate 7 land use categories in each local government’s 8 comprehensive plan; requiring each local government to 9 amend its development regulations to promote the 10 expanded use of floating solar facilities; authorizing 11 a county to specify certain buffer and landscaping 12 requirements for floating solar facilities; providing 13 exceptions to the construction of floating solar 14 facilities; requiring the Office of Energy within the 15 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to 16 submit specified recommendations to the Legislature to 17 provide a regulatory framework relating to floating 18 solar facilities; providing an effective date. 19 20 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 21 22 Section 1. Section 163.32051, Florida Statutes, is created 23 to read: 24 163.32051 Floating solar facilities.— 25 (1)(a) The Legislature finds that floating solar 26 facilities, also known as “floatovoltaics,” can be effective 27 tools in harnessing energy on manmade bodies of water. 28 (b) The Legislature finds that siting floating solar 29 facilities on wastewater treatment ponds, abandoned limerock 30 mine areas, and other water storage reservoirs is a beneficial 31 use of those areas for many reasons, which include that the 32 water has a cooling effect on the solar panels which can boost 33 power production and that the panels help decrease the amount of 34 water lost to evaporation and the formation of harmful algal 35 blooms. 36 (c) Therefore, the Legislature finds that the siting of 37 floating solar facilities should be encouraged by local 38 governments as appropriate uses of water and land areas. 39 (2) For purposes of this section, the term “floating solar 40 facility” means a solar facility as defined in s. 163.3205(2) 41 which is located on a wastewater treatment pond, abandoned 42 limerock mine area, or other manmade water storage reservoir. 43 (3) A floating solar facility shall be a permitted use in 44 the appropriate land use categories in each local government’s 45 comprehensive plan, and each local government must amend its 46 land development regulations to promote the expanded use of 47 floating solar facilities. 48 (4) A county may adopt an ordinance specifying buffer and 49 landscaping requirements for floating solar facilities. The 50 requirements may not exceed the requirements for similar uses 51 involving the construction of other solar facilities that are 52 permitted uses in agricultural land use categories and zoning 53 districts. 54 (5) Notwithstanding subsections (3) and (4), a floating 55 solar facility may not be constructed in the Lake Belt Area or 56 an Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir project if the local 57 governments involved with the area or project determine that the 58 floating solar facility will have a negative impact on that area 59 or project. 60 (6) The Office of Energy within the Department of 61 Agriculture and Consumer Services shall develop and submit 62 recommendations to the Legislature by December 31, 2022, to 63 provide a regulatory framework for private and public sector 64 entities that implement floating solar facilities. 65 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.