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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Model Ordinance for Renewable Energy Projects   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/20/2014
Program Overview:
State: Oregon
Incentive Type: Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Electric, CHP/Cogeneration, Anaerobic Digestion, Biodiesel
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Fed. Government, Agricultural, Institutional
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Model Ordinance for Energy Projects

NOTE: This model ordinance was designed to provide guidance to local governments that wish to develop their own siting rules for renewable energy projects. While it was developed by the Oregon Department of Energy, the model itself has no legal or regulatory authority.

The Oregon Department of Energy issued guidance to local governments to address wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and co-generation project planning needs at the city and county level in July 2005. The Model Ordinance for Energy Projects describes energy projects and siting issues and includes model ordinance language and commentary. Energy projects below certain thresholds are not regulated by the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council, so the model ordinance can serve as a basis for local regulation of these energy projects. The model language provides a conceptual framework that local governments can adapt to suit local circumstances and to address local energy resources.

The model ordinance not only includes general standards for all energy projects, but also details specific standards for different technologies. Specific standards for wind address visual impact, wildlife resources, public safety, and setbacks. The model ordinance is intended to apply to commercial wind projects; residential or agricultural projects under 50 kilowatts (kW) in size are exempt. Specific standards for solar address acreage, ground leveling, wildlife resources, misdirection of solar radiation, public safety, airport proximity, and cleaning chemicals and solvents. The model ordinance is intended to apply to large-scale solar electric projects that generate electricity for structures located off-site. It should be noted that the specific setback and clearance distances in the model ordinance are meant to be suggestions only; they illustrate the concept, but are not formal recommendations or standards.

The model ordinance also includes guidance on electric power transmission and distribution lines, natural gas and petroleum pipelines, and biofuel production plants.

  Todd Cornett
Oregon Department of Energy
625 Marion Street, N.E.
Salem, OR 97301-3737
Phone: (503) 378-8328
Phone 2: (800) 221-8035
Fax: (503) 373-7806
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.