Posted on April 20, 2011 by Richard Sherman
Rhode Island may be in the forefront of regulation on a statewide basis of the siting of renewable energy projects. The State just announced plans for a statewide siting plan that would in effect determine licensable locations of renewable energy projects (wind, solar, etc.).
This type of planning has been used in the past for conventional energy projects (both fossil fuel and nuclear), but is now being expanded because of local opposition to alternative energy projects. The effect will be to override local zoning, but it will also add another bureaucratic layer to the licensing process as well as the attendant additional time and expense.
One would expect that other states with comparable population densities may seek to follow Rhode Island’s lead, but whether any choose to do so is anyone’s guess.