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Smart Solar Siting For New England Webinar Series

American Farmland Trust, a national leader in protecting agricultural land, promoting environmentally sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land, has announced a four-part webinar series “Smart Solar Siting for New England.” Join American Farmland Trust and project partners: Acadia Center, Conservation Law Foundation, Vote Solar, and Vermont Law School, as we share outcomes from our joint two-year project seeking to reduce conflicts over the siting of solar facilities. The first webinar will be this Wednesday, Sept. 23, from 12 p.m. – 1:30.p.m.

The Need for Smart Solar Siting

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.

Join us for the webinar series

This four-part series, funded by the John Merck Foundation, The Barr Foundation, and National Agricultural Libraries, will highlight research and analyses developed during the two-year project, as well bring in regional policymakers, conservation organizations, state agriculture and energy agencies, and solar developers to discuss best practices and the challenges of solar siting and farmland conservation.

  1. Smart Solar Siting – Policies, Programs, and Progress  Wednesday, Sept. 23, 12:00-1:30pm
  2. Smart Solar Siting – Balancing Land Conservation with Smart Siting  Wednesday, Sept. 30, 12:00-1:30pm
  3. Smart Solar Siting – Growing the Solar Market with Smart Siting  Wednesday, Oct. 7, 12:00-1:30pm
  4. Smart Solar Siting – Turning State and Local Priorities into Sound Policy  Thursday, Oct. 15, 12:00-1:30pm

For more information and to register go here: https://farmland.org/smart-solar-siting-for-new-england-free-webinar-series/.

New England Smart Solar Siting Project Partners include:

  • Emily Cole, PhD, Climate and Agriculture Program Manager, American Farmland Trust
  • Sean Garren, Senior Director – Northeast, Vote Solar
  • Genevieve Byrne, Assistant Professor & Staff Attorney, Farm & Energy Initiative – Vermont Law School
  • Deborah Donovan, Senior Policy Advocate & Massachusetts Director – Acadia Center
  • Phelps Turner, Senior Attorney for Maine – Conservation Law Foundation
About the Author
Emily J. Cole, PhD

New England Climate and Agriculture Program Manager

ecole@farmland.org

(202) 378-1247

Read Bio