Maryland county approves measure allowing community solar


County councilmembers in Harford County, Maryland, northeast of Baltimore, unanimously approved a measure to allow community solar projects on select types of land in the county.

The measure stops short of allowing solar systems on land zoned for agriculture, but the council is organizing a work-group to determine how to open up those parcels to development.

In other areas of the U.S., community solar developers and farmland owners have developed a symbiotic relationship; the wide-open, usually flat land is ideal for PV projects and landowners stand to receive income that requires no maintenance or labor on their part.

As for where projects can go in Harford County, installations up to 2 MW in capacity are approved for business and residential-zoned land, with up to three installations allowed on one parcel or on connecting parcels of land. Systems can be located no closer than 150 feet from a property line or closer than 200 feet from a dwelling, no taller than 15 feet, require landscape buffering and fences at least 6 feet high, and must be constructed with glare mitigation in mind.

The measure also designates community solar installations as special developments, allowing them to be appealed.

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