Tuesday, September 26, 2023
HomeEnvironmentReport finds 228 local restrictions on siting of wind, solar and other...

Report finds 228 local restrictions on siting of wind, solar and other renewables

Report finds 228 local restrictions on siting of wind, solar and other renewables

by Matthew Eisenson
|May 31, 2023

The following story is originally published Provided by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, an affiliate of the Columbia Climate Institute.

Renewable energy projects have faced strong opposition in at least 45 states. In addition, according to a report, at least 228 local laws, regulations and policies in place in 35 U.S. states restrict renewable energy projects, US Opposition to Renewable Energy Facilitiespublished May 31 by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School.

This report updates and substantially expands on two previous Sabin Center reports, to be published in September 2021 and March 2022. The report’s state-by-state catalog describes local and state restrictions on siting renewable energy projects, primarily wind and solar, and instances of organized opposition to individual projects from 1995 through May 2023. As the report states, in many cases local opposition resulted in the cancellation, delay or downsizing of projects. The report also describes state laws that override or reduce local restrictions where applicable.

The 228 local restrictions described in this report include 59 new restrictions (passed after March 2022) and 58 previously ignored restrictions (passed before March 2022). The 9 state-level restrictions in this report include 1 newly adopted restriction (after March 2022) and 3 previously ignored restrictions (before March 2022). The 293 disputed items in this report include 82 new disputes (after March 2022) and 24 previously ignored disputes (before March 2022). However, these top-line numbers are indicative only. While this report includes all limitations and controversies that we have determined meet our criteria, it is not meant to be exhaustive.

Highlights of the report include:

  • In March 2023, Buffalo County, Nebraska adopted the very strict wind regulations, which requires the turbine to be 3 miles from the nearest property line and 5 miles from any village or city.At the time of publication, at least eight other Nebraska counties also require wind turbines to be set back at least 1 mile from property lines or residences, including wheeler (5 miles from home), Thomas (3 miles from property line), hamilton (2 miles from property line), Dakota (2 miles from home), Brown (1 mile from property line), Gage (1 mile from property line), Oto River (1 mile from property line), and Jefferson (1 mile from residence). at the same time, Stanton County Commercial wind energy projects have effectively been banned entirely.
  • In Virginia, at least seven counties passed restrictive solar ordinances or bans between June 2022 and May 2023, including charlotte, criminal, Franklin, halifax, Page, pittsburghand Shenandoah). Some of them are particularly onerous. For example, Pittsburgh County now bans any solar farms within 5 miles of any other solar farm and limits utility-scale solar projects to 2% of any subdivision’s total area. Franklin County imposed a countywide cap of 1,500 acres on all ground-mounted solar projects.
  • Across the Midwest, there is a growing movement to ban solar systems from farmland. Since September 2022, at least two Michigan townships (la salle and milan) has passed ordinances limiting utility-scale solar projects to industrial areas and banning such projects on land zoned for agricultural use. In neighboring Wisconsin, four towns in Dane County (Deerfield, dun, springfieldand westport), develop policies that limit solar energy on agricultural land.

These and other instances of opposition to renewable energy installations across the United States pose serious obstacles to achieving state and federal climate goals and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

that report – US Opposition to Renewable Energy Facilities Prepare to work as part of the Sabin Center’s Renewable Energy Legal Defense Initiative (RELDI). RELDI conducts independent research on issues related to siting renewable energy infrastructure and Provide pro bono legal representation To community groups and local residents who support the development of renewable energy in their communities.More information on RELDI can be found at here.

Matthew Eisenson is a fellow at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and leads the Renewable Energy Legal Defense Program.

Source link


Most Popular

Recent Comments