SB 796 – Relating to Public Utility Storm Protection Plans
On Wednesday, May 1, SB 796 by Senator Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota) was read a third time on the House floor and passed with a vote of 110 yeas and 3 nays.
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.
SB 796 was amended by the House on second reading and is now in Senate returning messages.
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.