DANVILLE — Montour County commissioners Tuesday approved a revised solar development ordinance to regulate commercial and residential solar panels.
The revisions follow a July 22 public hearing where language changes regarding location and spacing of the solar arrays were suggested.
The county planning commission and a subcommittee made the changes to the ordinance. The commissioners proposed the ordinance due to a company’s proposal to install a solar panel farm on 1,000 acres in Anthony and Derry townships in Montour County and Madison Township in neighboring Columbia County. Talen Energy, owner of the Montour Steam Electric Station near Washingtonville, and Pattern Energy Group estimate the two companies’ Montour Solar One project will generate more than 125 and possibly up to 175 construction jobs over the 12 months of construction.
Several residents objected at the hearing, saying the solar farm would impede their view or harm the environment. Others defended the solar panel development. Commissioner Chairman Ken Holdren has said the county must allow the solar panel installation based on state and local law.
“This is a very balanced ordinance that protects the rights of neighbors as well as the development of clean energy, including commercial and residential solar development,” Holdren said after Tuesday’s meeting.
Commissioner Trevor Finn said developing the ordinance wasn’t easy.
“We need to protect our residents and to allow for growth,” he said. “I think nobody likes this 100 percent.”