Solar opponents attempt to create Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt about Utility-Scale Solar. One myth they spread claims solar sites will be abandoned when the solar panels first installed become uneconomical.
If Mason County will adopt the Kentucky Resource Council’s Model Solar Zoning Ordinance, Section & (a) 9. states:
- A decommissioning plan prepared by a registered professional engineer and updated every seven (7) years, containing the following:
- The anticipated life of the project and defined conditions upon which decommissioning will be initiated;
- The estimated decommissioning cost, including removal of the SES and related foundations, pads, underground collector lines and roads, and the salvage value of any equipment in current dollars and the calculations supporting the decommissioning estimate. The estimated salvage value of the material using current, publicly available material indices and/or firm quotes from a decommissioning or recycling company experienced in the decommissioning of SES, shall be provided. The Board of Adjustment or other authority having jurisdiction shall consider the salvage value identified in computing the amount, if any, of financial assurance required under subsection
- The manner in which the project will be decommissioned, including provision and a timetable for the removal of all structures and foundations, and for the revegetation and restoration of the property to its original condition or a condition compatible with the zoning of the parcel(s);
- The party responsible for decommissioning;
- A performance bond, letter of credit, or other financial assurance payable to [Board of Adjustment or applicable governmental unit], sufficient to cover the net costs identified in subsection 9b and to assure that decommissioning of the site can be achieved by a third party in the event that a permittee defaults in that obligation, which financial assurance shall be provided prior to commencement of construction;
- A copy of any lease containing specific agreements regarding decommissioning with the landowner;
SEE bottom of this web page for the complete text of Kentucky Resource Council’s Model Solar Zoning Ordinance
An example of how this works in the real world can be seen in the KY Public Service Commission’s State Board on Electric Generation and Transmission Siting case # 2020-00206 dealing with the AEUG Fleming Solar project. On page 6 and 7 of Appendix A, the order states
33. As applicable to individual lease agreements, AEUG Fleming, its successors, or assigns will abide by the specific land restoration commitments agreed to by individual property owners, as described in each signed lease agreement.
34. AEUG Fleming should develop an explicit or formal decommissioning plan to carry out the land restoration requirements set forth in the various lease agreements. This plan shall be filed with the Siting Board or its successors. This plan should commit AEUG Fleming to removing all facility components from the project site and Fleming County at the cessation of operations.
35. AEUG Fleming should also be required to file a bond equal to the amount necessary to effectuate the explicit or formal decommissioning plan naming Fleming County as a third-party beneficiary so that Fleming County will have the authority to draw upon the bond to effectuate the decommissioning plan. The bond amount should be reviewed every five years at AEUG Fleming’s expense to determine and update the cost of removal amount.
This type of bond is the industry norm and should be required by the yet-to-be-adopted Maysville Mason County zoning text amendment.
It is also significant that there are 35 conditions AEUG Fleming must meet to install this utility-scale solar farm.
Kentucky Resource Council’s Model Solar Zoning Ordinance
ORDER OF THE KENTUCKY STATE BOARD ON ELECTRIC GENERATION AND TRANSMISSION SITING IN CASE NO. 2020-00206 DATED MAY 24 2021
My question is why are solar opponents working to slow regulations than can protect Mason County while allowing solar to contribute to replace tobacco and dairy income and help the future growth of our local economy.