Community solar legislation presented to residents of Harford, MD has received positive feedback. The legislation, which will allow community solar developers to construct projects in Harford County, was showcased during a Harford County Counil meeting held on February 2.
Though the public found positives within the bill, several comments were made to amend the legislation. Some residents wanted the legislation to allow for the development of community solar systems on land zoned for residential use. According to these comments, the amendment would reduce the pressure on developers while still benefiting Harford County residents without requiring a permanent development or land alteration.
County Executive Barry Glassman was behind the community solar legislation, which promotes the construction of solar panels on a variety of land types. The hope is to expand the generation of solar energy, so it reaches households throughout Harford county. As the bill currently stands, the maximum capacity for each development is two megawatts, but that could change as revisions are made based on comments.
The legislation allows for the development of solar installations on most land zoned and classified for business and residential structures. Exceptions include rural residential designations, agricultural zoning, land used for conservation, and easements developed for preservation. The legislation also requires a minimum lot size before development can be approved.
According to David Culver, planning and zoning deputy director, every 2-megawatt system will be built across eight to ten acres and will generate power for approximately 800 households. Culver clarified that the total output would depend on how efficient the system is and what type of panels are used.
Based on the legislation, no company could build a structure that generates energy within 150-feet of a property line or 200-feet from a home. Should the community solar legislation pass, it will also regulate the height of systems to 15 feet and would require each system to have 6-foot-high fences as a buffer.
The community solar legislation also addresses land restoration once the sites are decommissioned.