Solar Farm Moratorium to End, Despite Local Concerns

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January 27, 2022, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Solar Power

trekandshoot / Shutterstock

A moratorium on solar farms in Indiana's Delaware County is set to expire on February 22, despite protests from local farmers and residents who oppose a planned solar project, known as Meadow Forge, in Washington Township. As David Penticuff reports for the Muncie Star Press, the date falls after the Delaware Muncie Plan Commission will meet to approve changes to the solar zoning ordinance which will eliminate the requirement for a variance for solar panels. Among other changes, the commissioners want to increase setbacks to 100 feet, although some residents are asking for larger setbacks due to fire concerns.

While supporters of the project say it will bring revenue and a clean source of energy to the community, Penticuff reports elsewhere that opponents worry about the loss of farmland and the impacts of solar arrays on local ecosystems. The county expects to receive around $155 million in direct investment over the life of the project, investment badly needed in an area formerly dependent on now-defunct coal plants.

Around the country, solar farms are facing increasing opposition from neighboring property owners as the industry scales up to meet growing demand for renewable energy, expressing concerns about effects on their environment and land values. 

Monday, January 24, 2022 in The Star Press

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