Example Ordinances and Permits

To view example ordinances for a specific renewable energy technology, please click on one of the following links.


All Technologies

Resource
ID
Date
Document Title Entity or Author Description
MO-1 2005 A Model Ordinance for Energy Projects Oregon Department of Energy
A model ordinance developed by the State of Oregon for local jurisdictions throughout the state. The model provides codes and standards for a variety of renewable and non-renewable energy projects as well as narratives to justify the inclusion of such codes and standards.
MO-2 2010 Renewable Energy Task Force, Renewable Energy Systems County of Kent, Maryland
Created by Kent County Commissioners, this white paper suggests land use ordinance language for various renewable energy systems.


Solar Technology

Resource
ID
Date
Document Title Entity or Author Description
MO-3 2011 Solar PV Model Ordinance California County Planning Directors Association
This is a statewide solar PV model ordinance. The effort includes local government practitioners, state agency representatives, solar PV developers, environmentalists, and fire marshals.
MO-4 2010 County Code, Commercial Solar Energy Conversion Systems County of Santa Clara, California
This Santa Clara County Ordinance Code applies to solar energy systems that do not serve on-site load. The Ordinance differentiates systems as minor and major. Minor systems are those 8 acres and less and Major systems are those greater than 8 acres. The ordinance establishes restrictions for solar energy systems installed on agricultural lands.
MO-5 2009 County of Madera, California
This is an example of how planning staff initiates an amendment to include solar energy facilities into the County Code. The staff report includes a narrative of proposed code language, the actual code language, and a background report. The proposed code language is written so that all current and future solar technologies are included, applies to commercial generating facilities, and requires developers to obtain a Conditional Use Permit to develop in all allowed zoning districts.
MO-6 2010 San Diego County Solar Energy Ordinance San Diego County
The San Diego County Zoning Ordinance differentiates solar energy systems into two categories: Onsite Use and Offsite Use. The former are permitted in any zone and are recognized by the Code as an Accessory Use. Offsite Use systems 10 acres and less require an Administrative Permit, while those greater than 10 acres require a Major Use Permit. Prior to issuing County approval, the Code includes a requirement to provide financial surety for removal. The County created the ordinance to implement the County's Energy Element of the General Plan.
MO-7 2008 Community Resources Planning, Inc.
The Minnesota Solar Energy Standards are the result of the U.S. Department of Energy's Million Solar Roof grant program. This technical paper provides instructions and sample language for drafting a solar ordinance.
MO-8 2010 Town of Ithica, New York
The Town of Ithica's Building Permit Application Checklist for Photovoltaic Systems is an example of how permitting authorities can streamline the permitting process by providing developers and installers with clear expectations prior to seeking project approval.
MO-9 2011 Zoning Ordinance. Division 3. General Development Standards and Land Use Regulations. Chapter 3-31 City of Irvine
The City of Irvine's Zoning Ordinance allows for the installation of solar energy systems on all parcels in the City. The Ordinance differentiates installation on two types of property. In Residential zones solar energy systems are permitted as ground-mounted and roof-mounted. In commercial/industrial/institutional/multi-use/office zones solar energy systems are permitted as covered parking systems and roof mounted systems.


Wind Technology

Resource
ID
Date
Document Title Entity or Author Description
MO-10 2011 Ordinance No. 10073 - Amendment to San Diego Zoning Ordinance Related to Small, Medium, and Large Wind Turbine System San Diego County
The San Diego County Zoning Ordinance defines wind turbine uses as small, medium, and large. The use definition, permitting requirement, minimum parcel size, development standards, and specific guidelines (such as set-back reduction for large turbines) for each size wind turbine are provided. Prior to issuing County approval, the Code includes a requirement to provide financial surety for removal. The County created the ordinance to implement the County's Energy Element of the General Plan.
MO-11 2011 Kern County
See Chapter 19.64 of the Kern County Zoning Code. This ordinance establishes a Wind Energy Combining District in multiple county zones and describes development standards for wind turbine installations. Turbine setbacks and noise-levels are thoroughly addressed.