Florida Senate - 2022 CS for SB 1338 By the Committee on Community Affairs; and Senator Diaz 578-02852-22 20221338c1 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 counties and municipalities to specify certain buffer 12 and landscaping requirements for floating solar 13 facilities; providing exceptions to the construction 14 of floating solar facilities; requiring the Office of 15 Energy within the Department of Agriculture and 16 Consumer Services to submit specified recommendations 17 to the Legislature to provide a regulatory framework 18 relating to floating solar facilities; providing an 19 effective date. 20 21 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 22 23 Section 1. Section 163.32051, Florida Statutes, is created 24 to read: 25 163.32051 Floating solar facilities.— 26 (1)(a) The Legislature finds that floating solar 27 facilities, also known as “floatovoltaics,” can be effective 28 tools in harnessing energy on manmade bodies of water. 29 (b) The Legislature finds that siting floating solar 30 facilities on wastewater treatment ponds, abandoned limerock 31 mine areas, and other water storage reservoirs is a beneficial 32 use of those areas for many reasons, which include that the 33 water has a cooling effect on the solar panels which can boost 34 power production and that the panels help decrease the amount of 35 water lost to evaporation and the formation of harmful algal 36 blooms. 37 (c) Therefore, the Legislature finds that the siting of 38 floating solar facilities should be encouraged by local 39 governments as appropriate uses of water and land areas. 40 (2) For purposes of this section, the term “floating solar 41 facility” means a solar facility as defined in s. 163.3205(2) 42 which is located on a wastewater treatment pond, abandoned 43 limerock mine area, or other manmade water storage reservoir. 44 (3) A floating solar facility shall be a permitted use in 45 the appropriate land use categories in each local government’s 46 comprehensive plan, and each local government must amend its 47 land development regulations to promote the expanded use of 48 floating solar facilities. 49 (4) A county or municipality may adopt an ordinance 50 specifying buffer and landscaping requirements for floating 51 solar facilities. The requirements may not exceed the 52 requirements for similar uses involving the construction of 53 other solar facilities that are permitted uses in agricultural 54 land use categories and zoning districts. 55 (5) Notwithstanding subsections (3) and (4), a floating 56 solar facility may not be constructed in an Everglades 57 Agricultural Area reservoir project if the local governments 58 involved with the project determine that the floating solar 59 facility will have a negative impact on that 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.