County moves forward on plan to regulate solar farms

Bartholomew County Commissioners will soon be getting a proposal to regulate the placement of solar farms in the county. That comes after the county plan commission’s approval of the plan yesterday.

Under the proposal recommended for approval by the commissioners, commercial solar energy systems would be allowed under two zoning categories: Agriculture: Preferred and Agriculture: General Rural.

The rules would also establish setbacks, where solar farms could not be built within 1/2 of a mile of municipal boundaries or within 500 feet of residential districts, homes in agricultural districts or farm dwellings.

The county plan commission also recommended several options including separation distances of 250 feet from schools, health care facilities, churches and cemeteries. The options would also include requirements that the property be returned to its previous state when the solar farm is decommissioned.

The city-county planning department will work with the county commissioners on a time to put the changes up for discussion and a vote.

You can get more information on the Bartholomew County solar farm proposal here. Solar PC Materials

Image: Sample distances from the REMC solar farm array off of Interstate 65. Courtesy of Columbus-Bartholomew County Planning Department.