Birdseye view of solar panels and sheep in a field

Farmland Solar Policy Design Toolkit

How to Craft solar regulations that work for your state and community

This toolkit is intended for state and municipal lawmakers, farmers, and researchers hoping to improve or better understand their community's farmland solar policies. Click on a topic below to learn how it affects the siting of solar energy on farmland, as well as farmers' access to clean energy.

Regulatory Definitions for Solar Development & Farmland

Establishing legal definitions for farmland and solar development can improve the clarity and specificity of regulations and create regulatory options for treating projects differently.

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State & Local Governance

Solar development is regulated by both state and local governments. Learn how this division of labor affects project oversight and opportunities for policy advocacy.

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Renewable Electricity Goals

States are committing to ambitious climate and energy goals. Learn how renewable portfolio standards and other state energy mandates for clean or renewable electricity affect solar siting on farmland.

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Land Use & Energy Permitting

The administrative process for solar development can be designed to fast-track low-impact projects, increase oversight of large-scale arrays, and include specific provisions for farmland protection.

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Compensation for Solar Energy

Net-metering programs and other state energy tariffs can incentivize smart land use, including arrays located on preferred sites or "dual-use" arrays designed to work with agriculture.

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Grid interconnection rules are essential for ensuring electric reliability, but can be costly and complicated. Learn how these rules can affect solar development on farmland.

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Current Use Taxation

Agricultural land enrolled in beneficial taxation programs are often barred from installing solar arrays. Learn how these programs can allow reasonable solar development on enrolled land.

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Other Considerations

This toolkit couldn't cover it all. What else should lawmakers consider when writing farmland solar policy?

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