SES_roof topThis week the Marshall County Commissioners adopted on all three readings an amendment to the county’s zoning ordinance pertaining to solar energy systems (SES) after there was no public comment.

While solar was popular in the 80’s, it’s back in a bigger way and County Plan Director Ralph Booker wants to be sure the county and its citizens are protected from neighboring solar energy systems.  The county has issued a couple building permits for solar energy systems using regulations for accessory buildings since the county didn’t have anything.

SES_ground mountedThe ordinance approved this week describes the various systems including large scale, medium scale, small scale and micro scale and places setback standards along with height restrictions and permitting regulations.

Another portion of the ordinance protects the county and citizens with abandonment and decommissioning requirements. The Commissioners did have some concern there wasn’t enough teeth in this portion of the ordinance and asked for additional discussion with the plan commission for a bond to protect it the owner did not follow through with regulations.

SES_large scaleBooker told the commissioners he’d received an inquiry pertaining to a 100 acre solar energy system although the caller gave no pertinent information on the possible building project. He also said the City of Plymouth and Town of Culver will be considering very similar ordinances.