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SolSmart Issue Brief: Land Use Considerations for Large-Scale Solar

Energy development is the largest driver of land-use and land-cover change in the United States. Today, one of the leading forms of this new development is large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plants. This new issue brief is intended to educate local governments and community stakeholders interested in supporting solar development. Topics covered include: 1. Key challenges posed by storm water runoff and mitigation measures that can be incorporated into project development processes. 2. Vegetation Management concepts and their tactical application, including an Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) strategy. Together, these strategies can help communities and local governments develop policies and guidelines on large-scale solar that can realize both environmental and economic benefits. *This Issue Brief was originally published in November 2020 and was updated in December 2020.

Related Criteria

  • PZD-5b: Develop a primary use solar PV assessment that identifies all feasible sites for large-scale solar PV development within a jurisdiction.
  • PZD-12a: Establishes a clear regulatory pathway for primary use solar PV (e.g. through a special use permit or through inclusion among allowed conditional uses).
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