ORDINANCE NO. 2021-01
AN ORDINANCE GOVERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OR EXPANSION SOLAR ENERGY FARMS WITHIN SALEM TOWNSHIP
THE TOWN BOARD OF SALEM TOWNSHIP ORDAINS AS FOLLOWS:
Section 10.52 SOLAR ENERGY FARMS:
A.Location and Site Design Requirements:
1.General District Regulations: All elements of the solar energy farm shall meet or exceed all general district regulations based on the applicable zoning district.
2.The applicant must submit evidence that the solar power farm can connect to the off-site power transmission system, and evidence of electric power purchase contracts and power transmission contracts, or documentation that the power will be utilized on-site.
3.The land area within the solar energy farm must minimize soil erosion by complying with the standards of Section 10.20 of the zoning ordinance.
4.Solar energy farms shall not be located with the Shoreland District or Floodway District. Solar energy farms located in either a Flood Fringe or Flood Plain District shall be elevated to the flood protection elevation.
B.Solar energy farms that utilize concentrating solar power (CSP) devices shall not be perm Purpose: Olmsted County and Salem Township supports the use of solar collection systems and the development of solar energy farms. The development of solar energy farms should be balanced with the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. The following standards intend to ensure that solar energy farms can be constructed within Salem Township while also protecting public safety and the existing natural resources of the county. The provisions of this section of the ordinance shall apply within all zoning districts where solar facilities are allowed. In no case shall the provisions of the ordinance guarantee rights to solar access.
5.itted to be located with Zones A, B, or C, the Horizontal Zone, the Conical Zone, or the Precision Instrument Approach Zone as designated in the Rochester International Airport Zoning Ordinance #5 as amended.
6.Solar energy farms that utilize concentrating solar power (CSP) devices shall not abut or be located across a road from a land management unit of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Olmsted County, or private conservation organization, county or city part, Type 3, 4, or 5 wetlands, or residential zoning district.
7.All power lines used to collect power from the solar parcels and all communications lines shall be buried underground compliant with the National Electrical Code where applicable. Where existing site conditions preclude the burial below the existing grade of the site the communications and power lines may be placed at ground level and buried with fill material that will permit re-vegetation or that does not cause or generate soil erosion. The connection of the solar energy farm distribution system load center (transformer, substation) to the electrical utility may be located above ground.
8.All unenclosed electrical conductors located above ground must be contained within structures that control access or must be protected from entry by a six foot fence. All electrical connections to the utility system must meet the National Electrical Safety Code.
9.Applicant must submit a stormwater Management Plan and Landscaping Plan with the
10. Solar energy farms shall be required to provide a bufferyard "E" Section 10.08, the bufferyard must be provided along the outer perimeter of the solar energy farm property. All canopy and conifer trees must be at least 6 foot in height at the planting, with a potential minimum mature height of 30 feet.
11. Panels shall not exceed the elevation of the mature buffer.
12. Hours of operation during Solar facility installation shall be Monday through Saturday and restricted to the hours of 7:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
a.Security fencing cannot be closer than 300 feet from any property line (bufferyard may be located within the setback area).
b.One fourth- (1/4) of a mile setback between solar facilities.
14. Solar Farm must obtain an approved access from the road authority.
15. Solar Energy farms shall not exceed one (1) megawatt in size.
16. Decommissioning of Solar Farms: The applicant and future owners shall ensure that
facilities are decommissioned upon the end of project life or facility abandonment. A decommissioning plan shall be submitted with the project application. Decommissioning shall include removal of all structures and electrical transmission components, and where buried remove all construction above and below grade and restoration of the soil and vegetation to avoid temporary or long term soil erosion consistent with Section 10.20 of this ordinance.
17. A Decommissioning surety shall be provided by the applicant naming the ownership and
property owner as secured parties. Surety shall remain in good standing through the life of the solar farm. Decommissioning salvage value and land restoration costs shall be included in the decommissioning costs calculation and prepared by a licensed engineer.
a.A reserve should be included in the cost estimate as a hedge against fluctuating prices over the life of the project.
b. The decommissioning plan and cost estimate shall be updated every five years, based on the CPI (Consumer Price Index).
c. The Letter of Credit or other security instrument shall be adjusted every five years based on the CPI (Consumer Price Index).
d. The financial security instrument shall be part of the Conditional Use Permit Allowable security instruments should be one of the following: performance surety bond; and irrevocable letter of credit; a guarantee by an investment grade entity or another acceptable security. The letter of credit must be issued by a federally insured financial institution.
C.Conditional Use Review Criteria: In addition to the criteria identified In Section 4.02, the following additional criteria shall be applied:
1.To issue a conditional use permit, the Planning Advisory Commission must find that the design, construction, and operation of the solar energy farm, taking into account mitigation, are not likely to result in a significant adverse impact to the general public, adjacent properties and to natural resources.
a. When applicable the site design must be consistent with the provisions of the Olmsted County Zoning Ordinance, Section 8.09.2A for farms utilizing concentrated solar power device.
b.Where concentrated solar power devise utilizing mirrors are proposed the project will be designed to reduce the likelihood of significant adverse effects to birds. The operation must avoid the creation of bird habitat for bird prey. The proposed project has been designed and will be operated to protect public safety, and specifically to prevent public access. That portion of the property developed within the solar energy farm must be fenced and gated.
c.The proposed facility utilizing concentrated solar power devices has been designed and operated to prevent the misdirection of concentrated solar radiation onto adjacent or nearby property, public roads or other areas open to the public.
d.The applicant must show that the solar collector system is property located and aligned or adequately screened from view from the public right of way so as to preclude any glare from the equipment which would adversely impact vision of motorist on the public right of way.
e.A bufferyard to screen the system may be required as part of the conditions of approval. It shall be based on the proximity of residential buildings and solar collection system to the abutting rights of way. The vegetation shall consist of canopy and conifer trees.
2.In addition to the exhibits required under Section 4.02C, the applicant must submit the following exhibits with the conditional use application unless waived by the Zoning Administrator:
a.Maintenance plan for grounds surrounding the solar collection system.
b.Plan for use, storage and disposal of chemicals used in cleaning of the solar panel mirrors.
c.Where concentrating solar power devices are used the applicant must submit the site plan for review to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. A statement from the MNDNR addressing wildlife and habitat impact mut accompany the application.
d.Submit information explaining how glare generated from the solar collector system will be screened from adjacent properties or that glare will not be created by the system.
e. Decommissioning plan.
Passed and adopted by the Salem Town Board on November 3, 2021.
(Nov. 20, 2021) 2911079