A pair of wide-ranging solar bills have been introduced in Florida. S.B. 1328 and H.B. 687, which are substantively the same but contain minor differences, would revise the statutory definition of “public utility” to explicitly exclude “a local renewable energy supplier who exclusively produces or sells local renewable energy,” while defining a “local renewable energy supplier” as a person who generates local renewable energy with a device up to 2 MW that is intended to satisfy part or all of the electricity requirements of an end-user on the property on which the device is located, or for an end-user who consumes electricity on contiguous property. The term includes a person who generates local renewable energy for such purposes and “sells” excess electricity to the grid.
In addition, the two bills would:
- Allow net metering for local renewable energy suppliers.
- Specify that end-users who purchase local renewable energy from a local renewable energy supplier may interconnect with both the supplier and the utility, or interconnect only with the supplier.
- Prohibit utilities from imposing fees or surcharges on net metering customers that are not also imposed on non-net metering customers in the same customer class, while authorizing the Public Service Commission to approve such charges or fees if it adjusts existing customer charges commensurately to reflect any reallocation of costs from existing charges to the new or additional charge or fee.
- Allow the PSC to approve cost-based interconnection application fees for systems greater than 10 kW and cost-based study fees for systems greater than 100 kW.
- Prohibit counties, municipalities and covenants from regulating the design, specification, location, type or appearance of renewable energy devices in a manner more stringent than the Florida Building Code requires.
- Prevent municipalities from creating ordinances or resolutions mandating the connection of real property to a specific electric utility service, while providing that a person or entity may not be required to contract with a specific electric utility service as a condition of occupying real property.
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