County Approves Amendment to Solar Ordinance

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Photo courtesy Pitt-Bradford.

WARREN, Pa. – An amendment to Warren County’s solar energy development was amended during Wednesday’s commissioners’ meeting.

Warren County Zoning Officer Michael Lyon said the ordinance regarding solar development will “be applicable to the entire county.”

Solar farm development has already met the approval of the county planning commission.

“This is being created preemptively,” Lyon said. “We have had inquiries from developers about what requirements there are for solar farms. Development is a very lengthy process and can take several years.”

Lyon noted that at least two projects are currently in the works in the county.

“Developers usually come to local authorities toward the end of the process,” Lyon said. “These projects have been developed through very lengthy research, in cooperation with some other municipalities who are in the process or who have already created solar farms.”

Lyon also said that regulations are broken down into two categories – accessory solar energy and solar energy systems.

“Solar energy systems can reach hundreds of acres in size and are typically not for individual use, but rather selling power back to the grid,” Lyon said. “Accessory solar development is l minted in size to 600 square feet with no more than 10 kilowatts of power.”

“Without the ordinance, they can operate without restriction,” asked Commissioner Tricia Durbin, to which Lyon confirmed.

“Parameters in the ordinance also protect adjacent land owners from glare and noise,” Lyon said. “It was enlightening as to the fact they do generate some noise. Not horrible, but you can still hear the hum of electricity.”