Florida Senate - 2021                                    SB 1538
       By Senator Rodriguez
       39-01619A-21                                          20211538__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public K-12 educational institution
    3         resiliency; providing a short title; creating s.
    4         1013.235, F.S.; providing legislative findings;
    5         authorizing the Department of Education to provide
    6         certain technical assistance to school districts;
    7         authorizing the Public Service Commission to approve
    8         specified pilot utility programs; prohibiting the
    9         commission from approving certain pilot programs;
   10         authorizing schools or other local governmental
   11         authorities acting on behalf of a school to contract
   12         with third parties for renewable energy source devices
   13         located on property owned or controlled by a school;
   14         authorizing third parties to sell energy generated
   15         from such devices; providing construction; providing a
   16         limitation; establishing the Resilient Schools Pilot
   17         Program within the department beginning with a
   18         specified school year; providing the purpose of the
   19         pilot program; providing that up to a specified number
   20         of school districts may be accepted into the pilot
   21         program; requiring the pilot program to collaborate
   22         with specified agencies; specifying the purposes of
   23         such collaboration; authorizing certain public K-12
   24         educational institutions to directly solicit bids from
   25         and contract directly with electric utilities, solar
   26         contractors, and other third parties for the
   27         procurement of devices and services for specified
   28         purposes; requiring the department to provide a
   29         certain report by a specified date to the Governor and
   30         the Legislature; requiring the State Board of
   31         Education to adopt rules; providing for expiration of
   32         the pilot program; providing an effective date.
   34  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   36         Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Resilient Schools
   37  Act.”
   38         Section 2. Section 1013.235, Florida Statutes, is created
   39  to read:
   40         1013.235 Resilient schools.—
   41         (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—The Legislature finds that:
   42         (a) School facilities and properties frequently are used as
   43  emergency evacuation shelters during hurricanes and other
   44  natural disasters, and ensuring that these facilities and
   45  properties have access to power is essential.
   46         (b) Building or contracting for and using onsite renewable
   47  energy source devices to lower electric bills is a critical
   48  component in ensuring greater energy security.
   49         (c) It is in the public interest to afford public K-12
   50  educational institutions broad latitude to contract with
   51  electric utilities and independent energy companies to adopt
   52  technologies and programs that use onsite renewable energy and
   53  energy storage devices to lower electric bills and enhance their
   54  resiliency and energy security.
   56  IMPROVE SCHOOL RESILIENCY.—Notwithstanding any other law:
   57         (a) The Department of Education may provide technical
   58  assistance to school districts in identifying available
   59  technologies, devices, services, and procurement methods for
   60  improving the resiliency and energy security of public K-12
   61  educational institutions, lowering energy costs, and providing
   62  other benefits to the community.
   63         (b) To ensure the availability of adequate market options
   64  relating to resiliency technologies and services, the Public
   65  Service Commission may approve pilot programs proposed by
   66  electric utilities throughout this state to offer any public K
   67  12 educational institution any of the following devices and
   68  services:
   69         1. Renewable energy source devices located on or adjacent
   70  to school premises;
   71         2. Energy storage devices located on or adjacent to school
   72  premises;
   73         3. Energy efficiency devices, building upgrades, and
   74  services;
   75         4. Microgrids and distribution system upgrades;
   76         5. Demand response benefits from customer load curtailments
   77  and output from renewable energy source devices or battery
   78  storage devices for demand response programs to generate both
   79  customer and system savings;
   80         6. Financing options and flexible models of ownership and
   81  maintenance, including leases, performance guarantees, and power
   82  purchase agreements; and
   83         7. Net metering, including aggregation of net metering
   84  credits by a school district for renewable energy source devices
   85  to offset energy charges for school facilities not colocated
   86  with such source devices, provided that the cumulative statewide
   87  capacity of renewable source devices credited using aggregate
   88  net metering does not exceed 400 megawatts.
   90  The Public Service Commission may not approve any pilot program
   91  proposed by an electric utility pursuant to this paragraph if
   92  the program does not allow for independent, nonutility providers
   93  to compete to provide devices and services to schools.
   94         (3) POWER CONTRACTS.—For purposes of this section, a public
   95  K-12 educational institution, or another local governmental
   96  authority acting on behalf of a public K-12 educational
   97  institution, may enter into a contract with a third party for
   98  the installation, maintenance, or operation of a renewable
   99  energy source device located on property owned or controlled by
  100  the school. The contracted third party may sell the electricity
  101  generated from the renewable energy source device to the school
  102  or other governmental authority, as applicable, through a power
  103  purchase agreement or other similar financing arrangement. Such
  104  financing arrangements do not constitute the retail sale of
  105  electricity and do not subject the contracted third party to
  106  regulation under chapter 366. The amount of power purchased
  107  through such arrangements and other financing agreements for
  108  renewable energy source devices on or adjacent to school
  109  premises may not exceed an aggregate statewide capacity of 500
  110  megawatts, provided that no more than 50 percent of such
  111  agreements include utilities and their affiliates as direct
  112  parties.
  114         (a) The Resilient Schools Pilot Program is established
  115  within the department beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.
  116         (b) The purpose of the pilot program is to assist public K
  117  12 educational institutions with local assessments, procurement,
  118  and individual program design for investments in technologies
  119  that enhance resiliency from storms and natural disasters,
  120  improve energy security and continuity of physical operations
  121  during grid outages, provide benefits to the community through
  122  the use of school facilities during emergencies, and reduce
  123  energy costs.
  124         (c) Up to five school districts may be accepted into the
  125  pilot program, based on criteria and procedures adopted by the
  126  department. The department’s criteria and procedures must
  127  consider the size of the school district, the school district’s
  128  energy needs and costs, and any previous experience the school
  129  district has had with natural disasters.
  130         (d) The pilot program shall collaborate with the Office of
  131  Energy within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
  132  Services, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the
  133  Division of Emergency Management to assist participating school
  134  districts with all of the following:
  135         1. Reviewing each district’s existing revenues and local
  136  assessments to determine opportunities for investing in
  137  technologies, devices, and services that will improve the
  138  school’s resiliency and energy security, thus ensuring the
  139  continuity of physical operations during a grid outage.
  140         2. Identifying individual school programs and design
  141  upgrades to ensure that the schools can provide continuity of
  142  physical operations during grid outages and provide assistance
  143  to the community through the use of school facilities during an
  144  emergency.
  145         3. Providing technical assistance to identify available
  146  technologies, devices, services, and procurement methods for
  147  improving resiliency and energy security, lowering energy costs,
  148  and providing other benefits to the community.
  149         4. Making procurement decisions that reduce school energy
  150  costs.
  151         (e) Public K-12 educational institutions located within
  152  participating school districts may solicit bids directly from
  153  and contract directly with electric utilities, solar
  154  contractors, and other third parties for the procurement of
  155  devices and services to improve resiliency or energy security,
  156  lower energy costs, or provide other resiliency benefits.
  157         (f) By each July 1, the department shall provide a report
  158  summarizing the activities and accomplishments of the pilot
  159  program and any recommendations for statutory revisions to the
  160  Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the
  161  House of Representatives.
  162         (g) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to
  163  implement this subsection.
  164         (h) This subsection expires June 30, 2024.
  165         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.