Experts assess the damage done by Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys. Image: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Legislation proposed in Florida could see solar and energy storage become part of the go-to solution for providing energy resiliency against natural disasters and helping restore power in their aftermath.
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.
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