The Legislature finds that the present and predicted growth in electric power demands in this state requires the development of a procedure for the selection and utilization of sites for electrical generating facilities and the identification of a state position with respect to each proposed site and its associated facilities. The Legislature recognizes that the selection of sites and the routing of associated facilities, including transmission lines, will have a significant impact upon the welfare of the population, the location and growth of industry, and the use of the natural resources of the state. The Legislature finds that the efficiency of the permit application and review process at both the state and local level would be improved with the implementation of a process whereby a permit application would be centrally coordinated and all permit decisions could be reviewed on the basis of standards and recommendations of the deciding agencies. It is the policy of this state that, while recognizing the pressing need for increased power generation facilities, the state shall ensure through available and reasonable methods that the location and operation of electrical power plants will produce minimal adverse effects on human health, the environment, the ecology of the land and its wildlife, and the ecology of state waters and their aquatic life and will not unduly conflict with the goals established by the applicable local comprehensive plans. It is the intent to seek courses of action that will fully balance the increasing demands for electrical power plant location and operation with the broad interests of the public. Such action will be based on these premises:
(1) To assure the citizens of Florida that operation safeguards are technically sufficient for their welfare and protection.
(2) To effect a reasonable balance between the need for the facility and the environmental impact resulting from construction and operation of the facility, including air and water quality, fish and wildlife, and the water resources and other natural resources of the state.
(3) To meet the need for electrical energy as established pursuant to s. 403.519.
(4) To assure the citizens of Florida that renewable energy sources and technologies, as well as conservation measures, are utilized to the extent reasonably available.