• WBST 92.1 FMMuncie
  • WBSB 89.5 FMAnderson
  • WBSW 90.9 FMMarion
  • WBSH 91.1 FMHagerstown / New Castle
Indiana Public Radio, a listener-supported service of Ball State University
Listen Live Online. Tap to open audio stream.

Delaware County Commissioners approve year-long solar projects moratorium

By Stephanie Wiechmann, IPR News | Published on in Agriculture, Environment, Government, Local News
The year-long moratorium will create time to convene a study committee. (Photo: FILE PHOTO)

The Delaware County Commissioners will extend a moratorium on solar energy project applications in the county for a year.  IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports.

County officials have sat through hours of testimony at several meetings by farmers and homeowners in northern Delaware County who do not want a solar farm near their homes or farm ground.  Though, as farmer Jim Mock says, not everyone is opposed.

“It’s splitting our community.  We’ve got neighbors that don’t speak to one another now.”

On Tuesday commissioners first approved amendments to the county’s ordinance governing solar farms, which was created last year.  Those changes were recommended by the Delaware-Muncie Metropolitan Commission in a meeting last week.  They include increasing the minimum setback – how far between a property line and a solar panel farm – to 200 feet.  The changes would also classify putting solar panels on farm ground a “special use,” triggering more public hearings and approvals with every application.

Read More: Solar Capacity Doubles In Indiana, More Big Projects Proposed

Then, commissioners approved a year-long moratorium on solar farm project applications.  In that time, officials want to create a committee to study the issue and further consider the ordinance, says commissioner Shannon Henry.

“There’s been some – a lot of – misinformation on both sides that’s been provided.”

Read More: Bill encourages counties to be wind and solar friendly — but there’s no mandate

The Plan Commission will help bring together that committee, made up of supporters, opponents, and officials.

Judging by the applause in the standing-room only crowd, the move has a lot of fans.