A community solar facility allows a property owner to use solar energy as a power source without having to install or construct a facility on site.  A community solar facility is a subscription-based service and power supply that provides a credit or reduction in your electric bill in exchange for a monthly subscription fee.  A property owner can subscribe to any community solar facility in your power company’s service area with available subscriptions.  The facility does not have to be located in Carroll County. 

In 2018, at the Board’s request, the Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) prepared a report to the Board, “Community Solar in Carroll County,” to provide information on how community solar energy generating systems (CSEGSs) fit into the County’s current zoning and regulatory framework.  This report contains background on what community solar is, net metering, benefits of CSEGS projects, opportunities for CSEGS projects, and possible next steps.  Of the possible next steps, community solar has already been incorporated to the Employment Campus zoning regulations and is explicitly permitted as canopies in parking lots.

As a follow up to the report, the Board requested the EAC to prepare “A Guide to Becoming a Community Solar Subscriber in Carroll County,” to raise County residents’ awareness of community solar opportunities and provide resources to help guide them through the process of becoming a subscriber.  This guide is available on the EAC’s Solar webpage.

In spring 2020, the Board directed staff to develop a proposal for a zoning text amendment that would expand opportunities for community solar development in Carroll County.  More information on this process can be found on the Carroll County Zoning Administration webpage.

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