HB 797 – Relating to Public Utility Storm Protection Plans
On Thursday, April 18, HB 797 by Representative Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay) was heard in the House Commerce Committee and was reported favorably with 21 yeas and 0 nays. AIF stood in support of this legislation.
This bill aims to harden Florida’s utilities grid against tropical storm and hurricane damage with proposed under-grounding of electric infrastructure. The bill would require public utility companies (Florida Power and Light, Duke Energy Florida, Gulf Power Company, Tampa Electric Company, and the Florida Public Utilities Corporation) to submit a transmission and distribution storm protection plan to the Public Services Commission, with updates required at least every three years. Data collected after Hurricane Irma showed that underground lines suffered minimal outages during storms.
HB 797 will now move to the House floor.
AIF supports actively seeking ways to harden our state’s infrastructure and more effectively prepare for hurricanes and tropical storms to ensure that power is quickly restored.