County Schedules Public Hearing to Discuss Solar Development Regulations; Will Address Noise, Glare, Other Concerns

By B.N. Frank

While a growing number of local and state legislators are trying to restrict “clean energy” and “green energy” projects, the Biden Administration continues to encourage and fund more of them with taxpayer dollars (see 1, 2).  Nevertheless, concerns about and opposition to solar development continues to increase in the U.S. (see 1, 2, 3) due to various issues associated with it.

From News Channel Nebraska:

Public hearing scheduled on solar energy regulations, for Gage County

Commission soon to refer proposed regulations to the Gage County Board, for final action.

By Doug Kennedy

BEATRICE – The Gage County Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing as it nears finalizing regulations on solar energy projects that will go to the Gage County Board for consideration.

The commission set March 14th, at 7 p.m., for the public hearing at the Gage County Courthouse.

Commission members are proposing four classes of solar energy projects… for small residential projects…..and three others for commercial operations….of which the largest category would be over two megawatts. The commission took some brief public comment Wednesday night. Superintendent of the Homestead National Historical Park, Betty Boyko suggested some additional modifications.

“Commercial solar projects often vary in size, and height. They can rotate or they can be stationary. And, sometimes they require their own transmission lines. For these reasons, we think it would be prudent that the board consider requiring commercial solar conversion system developers to prepare a visual resource study prior to the permit approval…so that all neighboring landowners…not just the park…have a better sense of the potential impact to their property.”

Boyko says the park supports development of renewable energy, but feels it can be accomplished, located and designed to protect other uses. She said another issue to examine is glint or glare a solar operation may create.

“Based on NPS experience with other solar projects and renewable energy, in general…this would give a better idea of what surrounding properties might expect. Realistically, glint….which is a shorter flash of light…and glare…the sustained bright reflection, can be seen for many miles. And, requiring flat or non-reflective finishes on framing and structural components…could minimize glare and glint.”

The proposed regulations, as currently written, allow the county to place special conditions on solar projects to address public concerns, including noise and glare studies, prior to construction. The regulations also require screening of sites.

Under proposed regulations, the largest class of commercial solar projects would have a half-mile setback from the property line of non-participating residents, platted subdivisions and villages. There would be a three-quarter mile setback from the property line of churches, NRD areas and the Homestead National Historical Park.

Gage County currently has a moratorium in place on permit applications for commercial solar projects, pending final approval of the regulations.

Activist Post reports regularly about solar power.  For more information, visit our archives.

Image: Pixabay

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