View Resource

Township of Bethlehem Land Use Regulations § 102-37.3; Solar Energy Facilities; Solar Zoning

Zoning    Solar Energy   
New Jersey
Township Of Bethlehem   
| Suburban | Rural
The Township of Bethlehem’s solar energy facilities regulation requires minor site plan approval for ground-mounted solar energy facilities between 2,000 square feet and 10 acres in size while requiring preliminary and final site plan approval for systems greater than 10 acres in size. The planning board or an appointed site plan subcommittee may waive the minor site plan approval requirement if the proposed facility is reasonable and adheres to the solar regulation’s general purpose and intent. In addition to Bethlehem’s standard site plan requirements, site plans for solar energy facilities must include (1) the location of proposed and existing overhead and underground utility and transmission lines, (2) the location of any proposed or existing substation, inverter, transformer or equipment enclosures, (3) a description of any necessary upgrades or modifications to existing substations or the necessity for a new substation, (4) a description of how the facility’s generated energy will connect to the electrical distribution or transmission system or the intended user’s electrical system, (5) for solar energy facilities over two MW, the location and elevations of all transmission lines, support structures, and attachments to the substation(s), (6) the location of existing hedgerows and vegetated windbreaks; a landscape maintenance plan that demonstrates how the ground cover and screening plantings will be maintained, (7) a decommissioning plan documenting how the property will be restored once the solar energy facility has been removed and an estimate of the cost of decommissioning, and (8) an interconnection agreement with the regional electricity transmission organization PJM for projects over two MW. Major site plan applicants also must include an acoustical analysis and, if the facility is over two MW, documentation detailing the available capacity of the region’s existing electric infrastructure and the effect the proposed facility will have on this infrastructure.