Local Zoning and the Regulation of Solar Farms on Agricultural Land: Helping or Hindering the Transition to Renewable Energy?

There is no national study of the regulation of solar farms, based on location and size, or on the variety of zoning ordinances that are being used to regulate solar farms. This project studies the zoning ordinances that regulate solar farms in agricultural areas. It seeks to answer three key research questions: 

  • What is the extent of the potential land competition between solar farms and agricultural production?
  • How can local governments regulate solar farms to minimize the loss of agricultural production while expanding renewable energy production? 
  • Can a model zoning ordinance be created that strikes a balance between the development of solar farms and the protection of agricultural land?  

Tom Daniels

Crossways Professor, City and Regional Planning
Tom Daniels is the Crossways Professor of city and regional planning at the Weitzman School. Daniels directs the concentration in Land Use and Environmental Planning.

Grant Result

Presenters discuss their research, funded by the Kleinman Center, on efforts to locate utility-scale solar on farmland, present a model solar ordinance, and examine opportunities to co-locate utility-scale solar and farming activities. Access Passcode: tfJM$3kF

Watch the Event