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.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Section 163.32051, Florida Statutes, is created
   23  to read:
   24         163.32051Floating 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.