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Sponsored by Lorman Education
Product ID: 405880EAU
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Solar Zoning

OnDemand Webinar (103 minutes)

Gain clarity of appropriate regulations of solar land uses and how best practices in solar zoning are being applied through the nation.Every community in the U.S. is seeing increasing pressure for solar energy development. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that solar and wind energy will be the fastest growing source of U.S. electricity generation for at least the next two years, and likely for longer. This development will occur on private land and buildings currently under the jurisdiction of local governments, throughout every part of the nation. However, most zoning ordinances are silent about solar land uses, and decision-makers have little or no grounding in how solar development is similar to or different from other types of development. This topic provides context and clarity for appropriate regulation of solar land uses consistent with community goals, and how best practices in solar zoning are being applied through the nation. Like any form of development, solar development offers the community benefits and risks; understanding siting choices and site design options can help communities maximize benefits and minimize risks of this rapidly growing new form of development in our communities.


Brian Ross, AICP, LEED GA, Great Plains Institute Megan Day, AICP, National Renewable Energy Laboratory


Why Solar Zoning?

• Historic and Forecast Growth of Solar Energy

• Distributed and Ubiquitous Nature of Solar Energy

• Understanding Solar Development as a Land Use

Grounding Your Zoning in Policy

• Solar Energy as a Quantifiable Resource With Property Implications

• Creating a Rational Nexus for Regulation

• Addressing Potential Policy Conflicts

Solar Zoning Basics

• Statutory Authority Varies by State)

• Definitions

• Uses

Zoning Best Practices for Distributed and Accessory Use Solar

• By Right Development Best Practices for Ground-Mount and Rooftop Solar

• Dimensional Standards

• Regulating Aesthetics

• Incentives for Encouraging Solar Uses

• Solar Rights

• Perceived and Real Nuisances; Glare, Property Values

Zoning Best Practices for Large-Scale and Principal Use Solar

• Solar Development as a Unique Land Use

• Varied Scale of Solar Development

• Basic Zoning Concepts (Use, Dimensional Standards, Coverage)

• Types of Land Use Conflicts (Agriculture, Natural Resources, Character/Aesthetics)

• Low-Impact Solar Development (Siting, Design, Co-Location and Co-Benefits)