Indiana legislators have advanced a bill that would standardize development regulations for wind and solar projects statewide, superseding any existing county or regional standards.
The bill, H.B.1381, passed 58-38 in the state House and will now move on to the Senate. The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Ed Soliday, a Republican from Valparaiso.
Most notably, the bill would open up development in the 32 Indiana counties that previously enacted bans on renewable power projects. Outside of that provision, the bill also includes setback and height requirements, a ground cover mandate, prefunding of decommissioning costs, and an obligation to minimize interference with roads and wireless signals.
According to Soliday, the bill was passed not in an effort to push more counties to develop renewable projects or to cut the state’s emissions, but to help Indiana establish a renewable market rather than force interested energy buyers to look to other states to fill their needs.
“This is not the Green New Deal, and you won’t see that coming from me,” Soliday told local press. “The Green New Deal sets renewable requirements; we’re not doing that.”
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