Shortly after announcing a regulations hearing regarding community solar rules earlier this month, the Manchester Town Council has approved ordinances that will affect any future solar projects. Additionally, the council reviewed the use of town parcels for an electronic sign on the Manchester Valley High School’s property.
The Manchester Town Council tackles the community solar rules first. As no residents provided comments before the meeting, the regulations were addressed without delay. Included in the regulations for community solar are height guidances for ground-mounted installations and size limitations and landscaping requirements.
SGC Power senior land developer Abe Bennett was present at the meeting and fully supported the regulations. Manchester’s mayor Ryan Warner stated at the hearing that Bennett played an essential role in how the community solar rules were eventually written. When the Planning and Zoning Commission proposed an initial set of regulations, Bennett offered advice on the language.
The issue of zoning regulations came about when a group hoped to build a new installation in Manchester. At the time, there were no regulations in place, which caused concerns throughout the town. Michelle Wilder, Zoning Administrator, said that under the new regulations, Community Solar Energy Generating System (CSEGS), which manages subscriptions to community solar projects, would have access to only a handful of parcels throughout Manchester. All future CSEGS projects are now required to undergo approval by Manchester’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
According to the hearing’s public announcement, the regulations are in place to ensure neighboring residential areas aren’t impacted during the construction and operation of new community solar projects.
Manchester hopes to keep enthusiasm high for community solar. The subscription-based service allows customers to receive utility credits while helping reduce their carbon emissions. CSEGS programs continue to draw in more subscribers to increase the awareness and effectiveness of community solar.