Regional Land Use Advisory Commission – Solar Farms

RLUAC Quarterly Meeting
August 15, 2013

Speakers:
Stephen Kalland – Executive Director, NC Solar Center at NCSU
Mark Locklear – Harnett County Director of Planning Services
Randy Baker – Harnett County Senior Zoning Officer

Topic: Benefits of Solar Farms as an Industry in North Carolina

The complete power point link is located at the bottom of this report

Talking Points:

  • Currently a model ordinance for solar farms is being written
  • Solar farms are making an economic impact in NC by 1) creating jobs 2) prestige 3) positive economic outlook
  • NC is now ranked 5th in the US for installation of “ground mounted systems.”  Two years ago NC was ranked 9th
  • In 2012, the clean energy sector generated over 3.7 billion in NC annual gross revenue
  • NC’s clean energy sector accounts for over 15,200 full-time employees as of September, 2012
  • “Solar developers” are living high on the hog
  • There is no standardization on permitting, zoning and inspections
  • In Moore Coounty, the planning board rejected a proposed ordinance regulating farm development (created an effective moratorium on large-scale development), the planning board disagreed with federal and state subsidies.  On June 18th, 2012 an ordinance was passed by the Moore County Commissioners
  • There are 52 ordinances on a county or city level
  • On property tax values – don’t know the residential impact…there is no data
  • Abandonment is a key issue
  • Hoke County has recently approved 3 conditional use solar farm cases
  • Hoke County will hold an open house on their NEW solar run middle school.  The school will also sell solar power off their grid

Q & A:

Q – In Hoke County there are different quotes, it depends on the land

A – The main externalities are the environment, fire hazards and property values

Q – Could solar farms be developed with swine and poultry?

A – Sometimes a conversation trend is to see solar water heaters installed

Q – Pushback from energy producers?

A – It is “us versus them”…renewable versus traditional.  What’s happened is now there is value to the system.  We know we have won when the utilities buy us out.

What’s Next: On September 23, The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association will host a forum for the development of a solar ordinance for North Carolina.

Tuesday, September 24
4:00 – 8:00pm
Carolina Civic Center
315 North Chestnut Street
Lumberton, NC  28359

NCSEA Slides and Presentations

NCSEA Slides and Presentations:

Forum on Solar Energy Siting and Permitting in North Carolina – Raleigh, May 31, 2013

Template Solar Ordinance Forum Presentation – Asheville, August 8, 2013

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