Campaigners in Florida are backing draft legislation for the sunshine state to establish a pilot programme for backup power generation to combat blackouts.
A bill introduced in the state legislature last week calls for the pilot to be set up using solar and storage systems in the Florida Keys.
The US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and non-profit organisation Vote Solar has thrown its weight behind the proposals to “demonstrate solar and energy storage’s ability to maintain grid resilience during natural disasters and states of emergency”.
The SEIA said the pilot would “measure the benefits of resilience assistance to support the energy needs of critical facilities, such as emergency shelters, hospitals and health facilities, airports, and emergency response units, like police and fire departments”.
“Solar and energy storage can immediately offset these facilities’ power needs, provide backup energy during a grid outage, and store energy isolated from the utility’s electrical system for emergencies,” SEIA claimed. “They also eliminate the need for backup diesel generators.”
SEIA president and SEO Abigail Ross Hopper said: “This is a crucial step in preparing Florida for future emergencies. This pilot programme will demonstrate the effectiveness of solar and storage in maintaining grid resilience and help lawmakers implement this strategy on a larger scale.”