Report Finds 228 Native Restrictions Towards Siting Wind, Photo voltaic, and Different Renewables

Report Finds 228 Native Restrictions Towards Siting Wind, Photo voltaic, and Different Renewables


Report Finds 228 Native Restrictions Towards Siting Wind, Photo voltaic, and Different Renewables

Matthew Eisenson
|Could 31, 2023

The next story was initially printed by the Sabin Middle for Local weather Change Regulation, an affiliate of the Columbia Local weather College.

Renewable power tasks have encountered important opposition in no less than 45 states. As well as, no less than 228 native legal guidelines, ordinances and insurance policies have been enacted in 35 states to limit renewable power tasks, in response to a report, Opposition to Renewable Vitality Amenities in america, issued on Could 31 by Columbia Regulation College’s Sabin Middle for Local weather Change Regulation.

This report updates and significantly expands two earlier Sabin Middle stories, printed in September 2021 and March 2022. The report’s state-by-state catalog describes native and state restrictions towards the siting of renewable power tasks (primarily wind and photo voltaic), in addition to cases of organized opposition towards particular person tasks from 1995 by Could 2023. Because the report describes, in lots of cases, native opposition has led to cancellations, delays, or reductions within the measurement of tasks. The report additionally describes, the place relevant, state legal guidelines that preempt or curtail native restrictions.

The 228 native restrictions described on this report embody 59 new restrictions (adopted post-March 2022) and 58 beforehand missed restrictions (adopted pre-March 2022). The 9 state-level restrictions on this report embody 1 newly adopted restriction (post-March 2022) and three beforehand missed restrictions (pre-March 2022). The 293 contested tasks on this report embody 82 new controversies (post-March 2022) and 24 beforehand missed controversies (pre-March 2022). These top-line figures, nonetheless, are solely indicative. Whereas the report consists of all the restrictions and controversies that now we have decided meet our standards, it doesn’t purport to be exhaustive.

Highlights from the report embody:

  • In March 2023, Buffalo County, Nebraska, adopted an exceptionally restrictive wind ordinance, which requires that generators be set again 3 miles from the closest property traces and 5 miles from any village or metropolis. On the time of publication, no less than 8 different Nebraska counties additionally require that wind generators be set again by no less than 1 mile from both property traces or dwellings, together with Wheeler (5 miles from dwellings), Thomas (3 miles from property traces), Hamilton (2 miles from property traces), Dakota (2 miles from dwellings), Brown (1 mile from property traces), Gage (1 mile from property traces), Otoe (1 mile from property traces), and Jefferson (1 mile from dwellings). In the meantime, Stanton County has successfully banned industrial wind tasks altogether.
  • In Virginia, no less than 7 counties adopted restrictive photo voltaic ordinances or moratoria between June 2022 and Could 2023 (these embody CharlotteCulpeperFranklinHalifaxWeb pagePittsylvania, and Shenandoah). A few of these are exceptionally burdensome. For instance, Pittsylvania County now prohibits the development of any photo voltaic farm inside 5 miles of some other photo voltaic farm and limits utility-scale photo voltaic tasks to 2% of the full acreage of any zoning district. Franklin County has imposed a countywide cap of 1,500 acres for all ground-mounted photo voltaic tasks.
  • Throughout the Midwest, there was a rising motion to ban photo voltaic power programs from farmland. Since September 2022, no less than two Michigan townships (LaSalle and Milan) have adopted ordinances limiting utility-scale photo voltaic power tasks to industrial districts and prohibiting such tasks on land zoned for agricultural use. In neighboring Wisconsin, 4 cities in Dane County (DeerfieldDunnSpringfield, and Westport), have insurance policies to limit photo voltaic from agricultural land.

These and different cases of native opposition to renewable power amenities throughout america current a critical impediment to assembly state and federal local weather targets and decreasing greenhouse fuel emissions.

The report — Opposition to Renewable Vitality Amenities in america was ready as a part of the work of the Sabin Middle’s Renewable Vitality Authorized Protection Initiative (RELDI). RELDI conducts unbiased analysis on points associated to siting renewable power infrastructure and supplies professional bono authorized illustration to group teams and native residents who help renewable power developments of their communities. Extra details about RELDI might be discovered right here.

Matthew Eisenson is a fellow on the Sabin Middle for Local weather Change Regulation, the place he leads the Renewable Vitality Authorized Protection Initiative.


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