Senate Bill 843 - Renewable Energy Property Protection was introduced in the Senate on May 10, 2016 and is sponsored by Senators Andrew Brock and Bill Cook. The bill provides that construction, operation and expansion of any renewable energy facility other than solar for a detached, single family home or a biomass system will have to go through a permitting process. While already in place for wind projects, the new language includes all renewables.
This permitting process will include a pre-application on-site meeting to determine if the site interferes with civilian or military air traffic or adversely affects natural resources, the submission of a package outlining the project, and a notice to interested parties including federal agencies and any other party that DEQ deems necessary, as well as a public hearing in the county in which the project will be located. The bill also adds a setback requirement for renewable energy sites of at least one and a half miles and a landscape buffer applied only to solar facilities. The language also includes requirements for end of operations and a bonding requirement, as well as a section on liability for any damage caused by the site to property or persons.
The bill should be referred to a Senate Committee today. More information on the bill status, sponsors and the most recent version of the bill can be found at S843.