Allegany County Solar Energy Regulations Open for Comment

Allegany County is considering regulations that would allow the development of solar energy to be generated for sale away from where the energy is manufactured. Planning commissioners reviewed proposed regulations drafted by David Dorsey, the county’s acting planning director, on Wednesday.

As reported by the Times-News:

The rules were prompted by possible plans for a 25-acre solar farm on land owned by Allegany Coal & Land of Klondike. The company did not return calls requesting more information. The site would generate power for use off the generation site and according to information provided to planning commissioners would involve panels which use non-glare technology. While the total number of modules, which hold solar panels, is unclear, the power produced per module is listed as 280 watts. Each module contains a number of panels and the total number of panels in the proposal is listed as 20,900.

One addition made to the original draft of the regulations involved reclamation of land used for solar panels. A preliminary reclamation plan would need to be included in the original permit application, according to the draft regulations.

“This will include evidence of an agreement with the property owner that ensures proper final removal of power-generating equipment,” according to the proposed regulations.

Additional regulations would require that solar panels be no higher than 20 feet, among other restrictions, including where the facilities can be placed and required buffers separating the operation from roads and communities.

More information is available through the Times-News article.

Public comment on the solar energy regulations will be accepted for an additional 10 days. The commission will vote on the regulations at a future meeting. Comments may be sent to or to the Allegany County Planning & Zoning Commission at the Allegany County Office Building, 701 Kelly Road, Cumberland, MD 21502-2803.