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Solar powered

By Staff | May 1, 2016

It could be a bright spot for Faribault County, which is why they are working to formulate an ordinance.

And that bright spot is solar energy.

Faribault County Soil and Water Conservation District and Planning and Zoning have been discussing the future of solar energy for some time now.

However, at the most recent Faribault County Commissioner meeting, Zoning Administrator Michele Stindtman was present to discuss their progress on the ordinance.

“There is still a lot of discussion remaining on the sizing (of the solar panels),” Stindtman explained.

They had originally discussed the possibility of focusing on kilowatts for the ordinances. However, they are now considering just breaking them into two size groups.

“I think we may be better off focusing on the type of system and where the system is,” Stindtman said.

She added there may be two size groups:?small, which is 0-40 kW, and large which is 40 kW and above.

A?draft of the ordinance was reviewed by the planning commission on April 11 and they hope to have a public hearing for the ordinance sometime in June.

Stindtman also told the County Board that Planning and Zoning would like to work on amending zoning ordinances.

“There is a lot we need to revisit,”?she said. “There have been a lot of state statutes that have been amended that need to be amended in our ordinances.”

So, there has been much discussion on how to move forward with the process of making the ordinance updates. Stindtman thought it might be helpful to bring in an intern with a planning background.

An intern would then be able to work on a lot of the background information so that way staffers would not have to spend their time on the research aspect of the updates.

However, when presented to the County Board to bring on a summer intern, it did not turn out in Stindtman’s favor.

Two commissioners voted yes, two voted no with the chair voted no meaning they did not approve seeking out an intern for this work.