Solar companies looking to locate in Daviess County will have some new regulations. During its final meeting of the year, the Daviess County Commissioners approved the long-awaited solar ordinance.

“Until now, a solar entity could locate wherever they want to and it may not be the best thing for Daviess County,” said President of the Daviess County Commissioners Nathan Gabhart. “We wanted to have some oversight to where they may go and mitigate any impact they may have to the community. We wanted to put a process in place, protect our roads, protect our infrastructure and protect our local residents. This gives us the capacity to do that.”

The change to the county’s zoning ordinance came about after lengthy research.

“This has been a long time coming. We need to get this done. It has been a two-year process,” said commissioner Michael Taylor. “I think we are finally there. I appreciate all of the time and effort everyone has put into it.”

“I think the goal was to look at what other folks have done, what we had in place and learn from other communities,” said APC member Sarah Brackney. “I consulted with other communities and asked them what they would have done differently if they were to do it again. We also have a land-use team at Purdue and they were helpful in guiding some of the slight alterations to what we originally put into the ordinance.”

One thing the ordinance will require is that solar companies, like coal companies have done in the past, get permits for any damage they might do to the county roads.

“I think we have an excellent starting point with this ordinance. Once we run a few developments through it we will flesh it out,” said Gabhart. “I know we want to protect the land owners and still minimize any impediment to development that we can.”
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