(1) An electric utility that owns or operates an existing electrical power plant as defined in s. 403.503(14) may apply for certification of an existing power plant and its site in order to obtain all agency licenses necessary to ensure compliance with federal or state environmental laws and regulation using the centrally coordinated, one-stop licensing process established by this part. An application for certification under this section must be in the form prescribed by department rule. Applications must be reviewed and processed using the same procedural steps and notices as for an application for a new facility, except that a determination of need by the Public Service Commission is not required. (2) An application for certification under this section must include:
(a) A description of the site and existing power plant installations and associated facilities;
(b) A description of all proposed changes or alterations to the site and all new associated facilities that are the subject of the application;
(c) A description of the environmental and other impacts caused by the existing utilization of the site and associated facilities, and the operation of the electrical power plant that is the subject of the application, and of the environmental and other benefits, if any, to be realized as a result of the proposed changes or alterations if certification is approved and such other information as is necessary for the reviewing agencies to evaluate the proposed changes and the expected impacts;
(d) The justification for the proposed changes or alterations;
(e) Copies of all existing permits, licenses, and compliance plans authorizing utilization of the site and associated facilities or operation of the electrical power plant that is the subject of the application.
(3) The land use and zoning determination requirements of s. 403.50665 do not apply to an application under this section if the applicant does not propose to expand the boundaries of the existing site or to add additional offsite associated facilities that are not exempt from the provisions of s. 403.50665. If the applicant proposes to expand the boundaries of the existing site or to add additional offsite associated facilities that are not exempt from the provisions of s. 403.50665 to accommodate portions of the electrical generating facility or associated facilities, a land use and zoning determination shall be made as specified in s. 403.50665; provided, however, that the sole issue for determination is whether the proposed site expansion or additional nonexempt associated facilities are consistent and in compliance with the existing land use plans and zoning ordinances. (4) In considering whether an application submitted under this section should be approved in whole, approved with appropriate conditions, or denied, the board shall consider whether, and to the extent to which the proposed changes to the electrical power plant and its continued operation under certification will: (a) Comply with the provisions of s. 403.509(3).
(b) Result in environmental or other benefits compared to current utilization of the site and operations of the electrical power plant if the proposed changes or alterations are undertaken.
(5) An applicant’s failure to receive approval for certification of an existing site or an electrical power plant under this section is without prejudice to continued operation of the electrical power plant or site under existing agency licenses.