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.
   21  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   23         Section 1. Section 163.32051, Florida Statutes, is created
   24  to read:
   25         163.32051Floating 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.