Solar panel, photovoltaic, alternative electricity source - concept of sustainable resources

The sun’s energy can be turned into green energy gold. But solar has a darker side.

It also brings concern about environmental impacts. A field of solar panels alters wildlife habitat.

The proposed expansion of a solar project in Crook County is in one of these debates, as reported by the Capital Press. Oregon’s Land Use Board of Appeals has directed Crook County to revisit its approval of “West Prineville Solar Farm’s expansion from 320 acres to 654 acres on land zoned for exclusive farm use.”

The issue revolves around the intent of House Bill 2329 passed in 2019.

That law change aimed to make it easier for counties to site solar energy facilities. The question is: Does that mean counties get to make decisions about wildlife mitigation requirements?

LUBA essentially said no.

We don’t know what will eventually happen with this project. But if you have an opinion about how these state regulations should work, tell your legislator.

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