Solar Energy: Webinar Series Explores Rural Development Facts and Perceptions

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Misconceptions in SolarThe NC State Clean Energy Center is hosting a webinar series “Misconceptions in Solar” to explore and address various issues with utility-scale solar development in North Carolina’s rural areas. As North Carolina’s solar capacity has grown at a fast pace over the past decade, mixed-feelings and tensions are often evident in local communities over the conversion of land use to renewable energy (i.e. solar and wind) development. At the top of these concerns are the potential removal of farmland from production (and resulting impact on local farm economy) and the impact of the panel components on soil and water quality. Also of concern is who will take responsibility for removal and disposal of site components when the useful life of these facilities ends, .

The first in the series was held this past Thursday, featuring my (Branan) ever-evolving presentation Solar Development: Farmland Loss and Waste Management Concerns addressing issues in safety and farmland loss, as well as the status of dual use “agrivoltaics.” The next series installments titled “Land Use & Development” and “Policy & Finance” will be held on May 11 and June 15 respectively. Here is a link for registration, note there is an enrollment fee.

For more baseline information on the solar development in North Carolina, you can review my articles below concerning solar development due diligence and the (relatively) current status of development.

NC State Economist: An Update on North Carolina Solar Development and Decommission Policy

Legal Issues Surrounding Due Diligence for Solar Development

Solar Energy: NC Department of Environmental Quality Releases HB 329 Decommission Study