New Florida legislation could make solar-plus-storage the go-to for disaster relief and resiliency

(REPOST: Energy Storage News)

Holly Raschein, a Republican member of the House of Representatives for the US’ so-called ‘sunshine state’, introduced HB 1133 ‘Energy security and disaster resilience program’ on 2 January. The bill calls for the establishment of a pilot programme within Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to investigate and correctly value the use of solar-plus-storage systems in preventing or coming back from energy supply and delivery problems stemming from natural disasters and other causes.

Creation of the pilot would “encourage and demonstrate the effectiveness of distributed energy generation and energy storage technologies to provide for the energy needs of critical disaster resilience facilities located in areas of critical state concern during a natural disaster or declared state of emergency,” the bill’s text reads.

Through the pilot the benefits and costs of such solutions would be assessed and valued, with key facilities such as community centres, airports, public buildings, hospitals and disaster and emergency assembly zones under particular consideration for deployment of systems.

It defines the systems to be used as solar PV systems with integrated energy storage that could offset all or the majority of a facility’s energy demand in the event of a grid outage. Systems would have to have ‘islanding’ capabilities i.e. to be able to work independently of grid, with another technical specification proposed being that the batteries on any given site are capable of powering the facility for 24 hours of backup power for critical, ‘must-run’ functions, or for five hours of the facility’s “average daily usage”. Grants would be provided towards the cost of leasing or purchasing systems that are placed to serve critical disaster resilience facilities.

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