Poison pills buried in Maysville Mason County JPC Solar Ordinance

In recent decades our area has almost totally lost two significant enterprises – tobacco and dairy. As many local acres have transitioned to continuous no-till cash grain, soil erosion and ag chemical pollution have increased.

Erosion after no-till row crops

In contrast, acres in well-regulated large-scale ground-mounted solar arrays support 30-years or more of continuous sod.

To “protect their view”, Stop-Solar zealots hope to kill solar’s ability to contribute to our community’s ecological and financial future. They have acted with behind-the-scenes manipulation of the draft solar text amendment. In addition, even before hearing official evidence, JPC commissioner Reed declared that he favored 2000-foot setbacks from houses. After Mr. Reed declined to recuse himself when challenged, he has continually advocated for stop-solar positions throughout the JPC process.

After 1,099 days of consideration, let’s review the stop solar poison pills buried in the current JPC recommendation.

  • Setbacks
    • Section 414.05 tries to revoke local rule in favor of extreme setback instituted at the state level during the Stop-Wind campaign
    • Section 414.08 create extremely complex setbacks that are innately designed to STOP SOLAR
  • Height requirement dropped from 20 to 15 feet with no discussion or explanation
  • Noise Standard
    • No other existing activity has a noise standard. Why should solar? There is no reason for this standard other than a – stop solar attempt
    • Proposed limits prohibits normal human activity
      • 30 dBa (the level of a quiet library)
      • 50 dB(C) (which is less than 60bB (C) the level of 2 people in normal conversation)
    • Establishes an expensive system that duplicates KY PUC siting board standard with no demonstrated benefit
  • Pejorative language
    • Industrial Solar scattered through document
    • Cherry picking points in the comprehensive plan but not mentioning how solar addresses the problems identified by the comprehensive plan
  • Adds complex and expensive requirements that serve no useful purpose other than to stop-solar
    • Attempts to duplicate – All regulations apply to Solar why repeat the obvious?
      • National Electrical standards
      • Federal Aviation Administration regulation
      • Environmental Protection Agency regulations
      • Corp Of Engineer’s regulation
      • USDA regulations
      • Kentucky regulations
      • Repeats that Sewer and Water regulations apply.
    • If enacted solar will have only light standard in county
    • Signage – the county has a well-thought-out sign ordinance. This regulation complicates it with no demonstrated benefit
    • Requires feeder lines to be buried without consideration of the best technology available
    • Establishes burdensome Operation and Maintenance with no demonstrated benefit and that local government is not staffed to administer. The only advantage is as another way to add cost to stop-solar.
    • A method to appeal zoning issues already exists. The proposed complaint process only creates a method for stop-solar harassment
    • Requires expense of redeveloping a decommissioning plan more often than every five years, with no demonstrated value add.
    • Requires removal of things buried more than 3 feet deep. This will add cost plus cause more damage to topsoil
    • Requires insurance coverage not demanded of any other land use, simply another attempt to make solar uneconomical.
    • Requires exact model and brand of equipment approximately 12 months the developer has any way of knowing that information.
    • Asks for information that adds cost to the application process but no value to the community.
    • Allows Building Inspector carte blanche to add any requirement he feels justified, which places too much power in a single magisterial official.
    • Even though the SES site plan must include all operation and maintenance buildings, this regulation requires a separate application for each one. This is simply another attempt to increase coast and thus stop solar.

Below is draft 4 of the Joint Planning commission’s solar text amendment with Limestone Solar’s suggested improvements

Here is a clean copy of what Limestone Solar proposed to deliver well regulated solar