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Smart Solar Siting for New England

What's New

Find the latest news and updates related to smart solar siting in New England below.

AFT supports accelerated solar development and believes that, with proper planning and siting, our agricultural lands can also play a meaningful role in hosting solar energy while maintaining active and productive agriculture. It is important to us that clean renewable energy co-exists with New England agriculture, not displace it.

In an effort to encourage this, what started as a two-year effort to advance smart solar siting policies and programs in New England states has turned into a regional multi-stakeholder coalition supporting the effort to accelerate the expansion of renewable solar energy facilities while maintaining New England’s most productive, resilient farmland and forests.

Free Webinar Series

Join American Farmland Trust, Acadia Center, Conservation Law Foundation, Vote Solar, and Vermont Law School for a four-part webinar series, as we share outcomes from our joint two-year project seeking to reduce conflicts over the siting of solar facilities.

Learn More & Register

The Need

New England states have ambitious climate goals and, together, they have made considerable progress reducing regional greenhouse gas emissions through a range of activities. Increasing the share of renewables in the electric supply, and displacing fossil fuels, is a core part of achieving these targets. However, the rapid expansion of renewable energy installations across the region in recent years has brought new and pressing challenges. This new pressure compounds the severe “competition for land” in New England, underpinning the need to evaluate smart solar siting as a uniquely flexible tool to combat climate change while reinforcing conservation of our most precious lands and natural resources.

 

What is Smart Solar Siting?

Smart solar siting removes unnecessary barriers to solar projects that are in the public interest while providing oversight for projects that will have community or natural resource impacts. It is built upon data driven analyses that consider the inherent trade-offs associated with ground mounted solar and the differing values of stakeholders in order to reduce conflict and achieve greater public support of renewable energy siting.

There is no single solution – smart solar siting requires a range of policy approaches at the legislative, regulatory, and community level. With smart solar siting we can accelerate the expansion of renewable energy generation and cut greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining our regional food systems.

Smart Solar Siting Partnership Project for New England

The Smart Solar Siting Partnership Project for New England is a multi-stakeholder coalition to accelerate the expansion of renewable solar energy facilities while maintaining New England’s most productive, resilient farmland and forest land and strengthening its regional food systems. 

Learn More