View Resource

New York State Model Solar Energy Law

Zoning    Solar Energy   
New York
N/A Model Code   
Urban | Suburban | Rural
This Model Solar Energy Law (Model Law) is designed to assist communities in New York State adopt zoning provisions that promote solar energy systems while protecting community character and the environment. The Model Law is intended as a straightforward approach and leaves more complicated, site-specific issues to be handled through existing land use processes, such as the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SPPPs). It was developed by the NYSolar Smart Planning and Zoning Working Group (WG), as part of the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge, through a collaborative, negotiated process with several local government participants and with technical support from Sustainable CUNY of the City University of New York and Pace Law School’s Land Use Law Center. The WG aimed to balance best practices that promote solar energy systems with common local requirements and concerns. As such, the Model Law is presented as a practical, streamlined approach for facilitating solar energy systems in New York State, rather than a compilation of the most pro-solar zoning language available. Many options for further promotion of solar energy systems are discussed in the directions and appendix of additional considerations.