Regional Land Use Advisory Commission – Solar Farms

RLUAC Quarterly Meeting
August 15, 2013

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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Published by Angie Hedgepeth

Angie Hedgepeth, Government Affairs Director for the Association, attends all the local meetings each month, as well as NAR and NCAR meetings, and keeps members abreast of the multiple issues being addressed in local, state and national government. She prepares reports on the meetings she attends and they are included in the weekly "Government Affairs Update".