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State leaders welcome public input on solar siting

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MONTPELIER — Area residents interested in the issue of siting solar energy projects will have an opportunity to share their opinions with legislators on Tuesday, March 24, from 6 to 8 p.m., during a special hearing in Room 11 of the Vermont Statehouse.

The Shumlin administration has set a goal of obtaining 90 percent of the state’s total energy from renewable sources by the year 2050. The past few years have seen the proliferation of dozens of solar farms throughout the state, including many in Addison County. This has led to a growing debate on whether the state should adopt more regulations on the siting of solar arrays in response to growing complaints from neighbors. The Vermont Public Service Board is the arbiter on most solar applications, not the local communities.

The March 24 hearing, co-hosted by the Vermont House and Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committees, invites individuals and the representatives of communities and regional planning commissions to comment on current solar siting policy and how it might be improved.

Sen. Chris Bray, D-New Haven, said he will consider filing legislation based on the testimony he hears on March 24. Bray is chairman of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee.

Anyone unable to attend the March 24 hearing may email written testimony to [email protected].

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