Legislation Permits Renewable Energy Facilities on Preserved Farmland

July 28th, 2010 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 1| comments:

Agricultural PictureBy Joseph J. Whitney, Esq.

On January 16, 2010, the New Jersey legislature adopted a bundle of laws to promote renewable energy development in New Jersey.  Among the laws adopted was an amendment to the Agricultural Retention and Development Act (the “Act”) to permit the installation and operation of biomass, solar or wind energy generation facilities on preserved farmland.  A preserved farmland is a farm in which the landowner has conveyed a development easement to the State Agricultural Development Committee (“SADC”) or other governmental instrumentality, such as a county, or to a private not-for-profit entity, such as a land trust.  By conveying a development easement to the SADC or such other entity, the landowner covenants that the preserved farm will only be used for agricultural purposes.  This restriction runs with the land and is binding on all future owners of the property. » Read the rest of this entry «

New Legislation Promotes Solar Panel Development

May 6th, 2010 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 1| comments:

Solar EnergyBy Michael A. Smith, Esq. LEED AP

On April 22, 2010, Governor Christie signed into law S-921 – new legislation designed to facilitate solar panel development and, more broadly, to fortify New Jersey’s position as a green energy leader.

S-921

Under this new legislation, S-921, solar panels are now exempt from zoning limitations on impervious cover – a planning term for hard surfaces such as buildings and driveways, that prevent water from absorbing into the ground. On solar panels, municipalities have been contradictory in their impervious cover requirements, with some treating solar panels as impervious. S-921 addresses this inconsistency – solar panels cannot be restricted through impervious coverage limitations. Note that the base or foundation of a solar panel may still be regulated as impervious cover. » Read the rest of this entry «

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