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Bill Summary Details

Renewable Energy (Oppose – Preemption)

SB 1960 (Bean) provides a process for siting solar facilities and restricts local governments’ authority to prohibit or impose requirements on such facilities. It defines “solar facilities” to mean a production facility that converts solar energy to electricity that is consumed primarily off-site via a transmission system. The term includes modules, mounting systems, collection systems and associated components as well as accessory buildings, grid interconnection equipment and energy storage equipment. The bill provides that solar facilities shall be a permitted use by right in all agricultural land use categories of the applicable local government comprehensive plan and all agricultural zoning districts within unincorporated areas. It provides that solar facilities must comply with the same setback, landscaping, buffering, fencing or berm requirements applicable to other uses that do not produce food or fiber in that comprehensive plan category or zoning district. The bill specifies that agricultural land leased for a solar facility shall maintain its agricultural tax exemptions. For solar facilities greater than 75 megawatts in capacity, the bill allows an applicant the option to apply for certification under the state’s Power Plant Siting Act. (O’Hara)