Model Ordinance for Larger-Scale Solar Energy Projects in Virginia

By: Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Solar Energy

This model ordinance was created by a Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Local Government Outreach Group to provide suggested language for local jurisdictions around larger-scale solar energy systems. Communities may wish to use this ordinance in conjunction with the DEQ's Model Ordinance for Smaller-Scale Solar Energy Projects in Virginia.

The model ordinance suggests that such projects (those not mounted over a building, parking lot, or other previously disturbed area or with a disturbance zone greater than two acres) be permitted by right in agricultural and industrial districts, and with special use permit approval in residential and commercial zones. It addresses application requirements and procedures and provides site standards addressing visual impacts, signage, noise, and setbacks, as well as decommissioning requirements.