Wind and Solar Farms in Farm Country: Addressing Land Use Conflicts
The terms “solar farm” and “wind farm” could not more perfectly demonstrate the inevitable pairing of renewable energy and agriculture as uses of land. Although harvesting the sun and wind for distribution through the electric grid is far from a traditional agricultural practice, farmland is typically the anticipated location for a utility-scale wind and solar facility. Policies that encourage increased production of wind and solar energy, then, can be at odds with those that promote agricultural uses of land. Additionally, local opposition to utility-scale wind and solar development can be strong. The friction forces a policy decision on whether to prohibit or limit wind and solar development on farmland in the face of mandates and incentives for renewable energy.
In this webinar, we’ll first review three common issues that arise between wind and solar energy development and agriculture: land consumption, local opposition, and co-location. We’ll highlight our research on state and local land use laws for siting wind and solar facilities and discuss recommended practices for addressing land use conflicts between wind and solar farms and farming. A summary of remaining issues and existing resources will wrap up the presentation.
Time and Date:
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
12:00 – 1:00 (EST)
11:00 – 12:00 (CST)
Peggy Kirk Hall is an Associate Professor in Agricultural & Resource Law at The Ohio State University and a partner with the National Agricultural Law Center. She is a member of OSU’s Farm Office, directs OSU Extension’s Agricultural & Resource Law Program and is the author of the Ohio Agricultural Law Blog. Hall teaches Agribusiness Law in the College of Food, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences and has served as President of the American Agricultural Law Association and Chair of the Ohio State Bar Association Agricultural Law Committee.
Whitney R. Morgan, a WVU College of Law alum, has been with the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic since 2015. In this role, she has focused on the development of a comprehensive zoning ordinance template designed specifically for rural West Virginia communities, with major contributions centering on the intersection of zoning with the U.S. Constitution.
Jesse Richardson is a Professor of Law and the Lead Land Use Attorney at the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic at the West Virginia University College of Law where his research and experience focuses on agricultural law, land use law, and water law. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech and J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Jesse serves on the Board of the Water Well Trust, is past President of the American Agricultural Law Association and has served on the Virginia Water Policy Technical Advisory Committee and on the boards of the Universities Council on Water Resources, National Cave and Karst Research Institute, and Virginia Cave Board.
Research & Materials:
Land Use Conflicts Between Wind and Solar Renewable Energy and Agricultural Uses (Hall, Morgan, Richardson; 2022)