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S.J.R. 1

             1     

JOINT RESOLUTION - RENEWABLE ENERGY

             2     
SYSTEM

             3     
2009 GENERAL SESSION

             4     
STATE OF UTAH

             5     
Chief Sponsor: Patricia W. Jones

             6     
House Sponsor: ____________

             7     
             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This joint resolution of the Legislature addresses renewable energy systems.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This resolution:
             13          .    directs the State Energy Program to assess the need for model solar and geothermal
             14      ordinances at the local government level and to report to the Legislature on its
             15      process for assessing the need;
             16          .    urges local governments to adopt a model ordinance for wind energy projects; and
             17          .    directs that a copy of the resolution be sent to the State Energy Program.
             18      Special Clauses:
             19          None
             20     
             21      Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             22          WHEREAS, the state has established a target of 20 percent renewable energy electricity
             23      generation by the year 2025;
             24          WHEREAS, it is the policy of the state to encourage the development of independent
             25      and qualifying power production and cogeneration facilities, to promote a diverse array of
             26      economical and sustainable energy resources in an environmentally acceptable manner, and to
             27      conserve our finite and expensive energy resources and provide for their most efficient and


             28      economic utilization;
             29          WHEREAS, the state wishes to provide clarity to the process of developing renewable
             30      energy projects and to reduce the bureaucratic and permitting burden for Utah residents,
             31      businesses, and local governments in developing renewable energy;
             32          WHEREAS, the state finds that wind, geothermal, and solar energy are abundant,
             33      renewable, and non-polluting energy resources;
             34          WHEREAS, wind, geothermal, and solar energy systems can help to offset growing
             35      energy and peak power demands;
             36          WHEREAS, the state wishes to advance the use of wind, geothermal, and solar energy
             37      by all of its citizens, businesses, and industries;
             38          WHEREAS, properly designed renewable energy installation ordinances can help
             39      communities facilitate greater access to wind, geothermal, and solar energy;
             40          WHEREAS, it is the goal of the state to develop wind, geothermal, and solar power,
             41      while preserving farmlands and agricultural enterprises and adjoining residential and
             42      commercial developments as compatible adjoining uses, and the public health, safety, and
             43      general welfare will be protected and promoted by this ordinance;
             44          WHEREAS, the state recognizes that the renewable energy industry is growing and can
             45      continue to benefit the state economically, and efforts to streamline renewable energy
             46      installations encourages economic development in the state;
             47          WHEREAS, solar working groups meet quarterly throughout the state as administered
             48      by the State Energy Program; and
             49          WHEREAS, geothermal working groups meet quarterly throughout the state as
             50      administered by the State Energy Program:
             51          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the State Energy Program be directed to
             52      assess the need for a model solar ordinance through a consensus building stakeholder process
             53      to include, if considered useful, the development of a model solar ordinance.
             54          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State Energy Program be directed to report the
             55      findings of the consensus building stakeholder process and any resulting model solar ordinance
             56      to the Legislature no later than November 30, 2009.
             57          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State Energy Program be directed to assess the
             58      need for a geothermal ordinance through a consensus building stakeholder process to include,


             59      if considered useful, the development of a model geothermal ordinance.
             60          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State Energy Program be directed to report the
             61      findings of the consensus building stakeholder process to the Legislature no later than
             62      November 30, 2009.
             63          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this joint resolution be sent to the State
             64      Energy Program.
             65          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature strongly urges local governments
             66      that wish to develop ordinances for wind energy projects to adopt the following model
             67      ordinance language as appropriate for their jurisdictions.
             68      SMALL AND LARGE WIND SYSTEMS ORDINANCE
             69      1.0 Purpose
             70          The purpose of this [model] ordinance is to establish minimum requirements and
             71      regulations for the placement, construction, and modification of small wind energy
             72      systems, large wind energy systems, and wind metering towers and equipment as
             73      defined herein, while promoting the safe, effective, and efficient use of such systems.
             74      2.0 Definitions
             75           Abandoned: A wind energy system or project shall be considered abandoned when,
             76      once installed fails to operate for 24 months.
             77           Height: The height of a wind turbine measured from natural grade to the tip of the rotor
             78          blade at its highest point.
             79           Large Wind Energy System: All equipment, machinery, and structures utilized in
             80      connection with the conversion of wind to electricity. This includes, but is not limited
             81      to, storage, electrical collection and supply equipment, transformers, service and access
             82      roads, and one or more wind turbines, which has a rated nameplate capacity greater than
             83      100kW.
             84           Meteorological Tower (Met tower): A temporary tower, housing or supporting wind
             85      measuring equipment for the purpose of establishing the viability of the wind generated
             86      energy by measuring and monitoring wind velocity, direction, shear, duration, intensity,
             87      and regularity.
             88           Permit Granting Authority: The board of appeals or zoning administrator.
             89           Rated Nameplate Capacity: The maximum rated output of electric power production


             90          equipment. This output is typically specified by the manufacturer with a "nameplate"
             91      on the equipment rated in Watts or British Thermal Units (BTUs).
             92           Small Wind Energy System: All equipment, machinery, and structures utilized in
             93      connection with the conversion of wind to electricity. This includes, but is not limited
             94      to, storage, electrical collection and supply equipment, transformers, service and access
             95      roads, and one or more wind turbines, which has a rated nameplate capacity of 100 kW
             96      or less.
             97           Special Permit Granting Authority: The special permit granting authority shall be the
             98          board of city council, planning board, or zoning administrator as designated by zoning
             99      ordinance or by-law for the issuance of special permits, or by this section for the
             100      issuance of special permits to construct and operate small wind energy systems.
             101           Special Use Permit: A permit provided by the special permitting authority for
             102      nonconforming small wind systems (e.g. a small wind system that does not meet the
             103      criteria for small wind systems set forth by this ordinance).
             104           Zoning: Ordinances and bylaws adopted by cities and towns to regulate the use of land,
             105      buildings, and structures to the full extent of the independent constitutional powers of
             106      cities and towns to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of their present and
             107      future inhabitants.
             108           Zoning administrator: A person designated by the board of appeals pursuant to
             109      section 13 to assume certain duties of said board.
             110      3.0 General Requirements -- Small Wind Energy System
             111      3.1 Design Standards
             112           3.1.1 Height
             113          The height of small wind energy systems shall not exceed 200 feet in height without
             114      prior approval from the permit granting authority.
             115           3.1.2 Setbacks
             116          Small wind energy systems shall be set back at a distance equal to 110% of the total
             117      height of system from all inhabited structures, overhead utility lines, property lines, and
             118      public roads or public rights-of-ways.
             119           3.1.3 Setback Waivers
             120          The building inspector may reduce the minimum setback distance if written permission


             121      is granted by permit granting authority.
             122           3.1.4 Minimum Blade Height
             123          The minimum height of the lowest extent of a turbine blade shall be 30 feet above the
             124      ground.
             125           3.1.5 Color and Finish
             126          The wind energy system shall be a neutral color that blends with the environment.
             127      Gray, beige, and white are recommended.
             128           3.1.6 Lighting
             129          Small wind energy systems shall be lighted only if required by the Federal Aviation
             130      Administration. Lighting of other parts of the small wind energy system shall be
             131      limited to that required for safety and operational purposes.
             132           3.1.7 Signage and Advertising
             133          Signs and advertising shall be restricted to reasonable identification of the
             134      manufacturer, operator of the small wind energy system, utility, and safety signs.
             135           3.1.8 Access
             136          No tower shall have a climbing apparatus within 10 feet of the ground. All access
             137      doors or access ways to towers and electrical equipment shall be locked.
             138           3.1.9 Noise
             139          The small wind energy system and associated equipment shall not exceed 60 dBa as
             140      measured from the nearest neighboring inhabitable structure.
             141      3.2 Siting Conditions and Property Maintenance
             142           3.2.1 Land Clearing, Soil Erosion, and Habitat Impacts
             143          If the permitting granting authority has standards for land clearing, soil erosion control,
             144      and habitat impact mitigation and/or habitat reclamation, those same standards should
             145      apply. If the Permit Granting Authority does not have previously prescribed standards,
             146      the following is recommended for adoption.
             147          Clearing of natural vegetation shall be limited to that which is necessary for the
             148      construction, operation, and maintenance of the small wind energy system and is
             149      otherwise prescribed by applicable laws, regulations, and ordinances. Once the system
             150      is operational, any land that has been disturbed and is not necessary for the functioning
             151      of the system shall be reclaimed with natural vegetation immediately. Soil erosion is to


             152      be mitigated by the use of silt fencing, the captured product of which can be used in the
             153      vegetation reclamation.
             154           3.2.2 Minimum Lot Size
             155          Small wind energy systems that are less than 80 feet in height may be constructed on
             156      lots one acre or less. If the small wind energy system is greater than 80 feet in height,
             157      the system must be constructed on a lot greater than one acre.
             158           3.2.3 System Conditions
             159          The applicant shall maintain the small wind energy system in good condition.
             160          Maintenance shall include, but not be limited to, painting, mechanical/electrical repairs,
             161      structural repairs, and security measures.
             162           3.2.4 Removal and Decommissioning Requirements
             163          Any small wind energy system, which has reached the end of its useful life or has been
             164      abandoned, shall be removed. A small wind energy system shall be considered
             165      abandoned when it fails to operate for 24 months. Upon a Notice of Abandonment
             166      issued by the Building Inspector, the small wind energy system owner will have 60 days
             167      to provide sufficient evidence that the system has not been abandoned, or the Permit
             168      Granting Authority shall have the authority to enter the owner's property and remove
             169      the system at the owner's expense.
             170          Once the system has been removed the owner is then responsible for land reclamation
             171      using the natural vegetation that was removed or disturbed upon construction of the
             172      project. To the greatest extent possible, the land shall be fully returned to its natural
             173      state within five years of the removal and decommissioning of the project.
             174      3.3 Permit Granting Authority Issued Permits
             175           3.3.1 Building Permits
             176          Small wind energy systems shall be constructed as provided in this section by first
             177      obtaining a building permit from the appropriate Permit Granting Authority.
             178           3.3.2 Modifications
             179          Any physical modification to an existing and permitted wind energy system that
             180      materially alters the size and/or type of wind turbines or other equipment shall require a
             181      permit modification under this ordinance. Replacement of an already permitted turbine
             182      with a similar size and height will not require a permit modification.


             183           3.3.3 Conditional Use Permits (CUP)
             184          A conditional use permit may be granted in the case where a proposed small wind
             185      energy system or project does not satisfy the standard criteria of the building permit set
             186      forth under this ordinance. The applicant must then seek review and petition the Permit
             187      Granting Authority for a Conditional Use Permit. This CUP variance from the standard
             188      building permit criteria will only be applicable to that specific non-conforming project.
             189           3.3.4 Expiration
             190          A permit issued pursuant to this ordinance shall expire if:
             191          (a) the small wind energy system is not installed and functioning within 24 months
             192      from the date the permit is issued; or
             193          (b) the small wind energy system is abandoned.
             194           3.3.5 Violations
             195          It is unlawful for any person to construct, install, or operate a small wind energy system
             196      that is not in compliance with this ordinance or with any condition contained in a
             197      building permit issued pursuant to this ordinance. Small wind energy systems installed
             198      prior to the adoption of this ordinance are exempt.
             199           3.3.6 Administration and Enforcement
             200          (a) This ordinance shall be administered and enforced by the Building Inspector or
             201      other official as designated by the Permit Granting Authority.
             202          (b) The Building Inspector may enter any property for which a building permit has
             203      been issued under this ordinance to conduct an inspection to determine whether the
             204      conditions stated in the permit have been met.
             205      3.4 Compliance with Laws, Ordinances, and Regulations
             206          The construction and operation of all such proposed small wind energy systems shall be
             207      consistent with all applicable local, state, and federal requirements, including all
             208      applicable safety, construction, environmental, electrical, communications,
             209          and FAA aviation requirements.
             210      4.0 General Requirements -- Large Wind Energy Systems and Projects
             211      4.1 Design Standards
             212           4.1.1 Height
             213          The height of large wind energy systems shall not exceed 450 feet in height without


             214      prior approval from the Permit Granting Authority.
             215           4.1.2 Setbacks
             216          Large wind energy systems shall be set back a distance equal to 110% of the total height
             217      of system from all inhabited structures, overhead utility lines, property lines, and public
             218      roads or public rights-of-ways.
             219           4.1.3 Setback Waivers
             220          The building inspector may reduce the minimum setback distance if written permission
             221      is granted by the Permit Granting Authority.
             222           4.1.4 Minimum Blade Height
             223          The minimum height of the lowest extent of a turbine blade shall be 30 feet above the
             224      ground surface.
             225           4.1.5 Color and Finish
             226          The large wind energy system shall be a neutral color that blends with the environment.
             227      Gray, beige, and white are recommended.
             228           4.1.6 Lighting
             229          Large wind energy systems and projects shall be lighted only if required by the Federal
             230      Aviation Administration. Lighting of other parts of the large wind energy system shall
             231      be limited to that required for safety and operational purposes.
             232           4.1.7 Signage and Advertising
             233          Signs and advertising shall be restricted to reasonable identification of the
             234      manufacturer, operator of the large wind energy system, utility, and safety signs.
             235           4.1.8 Access
             236          No tower shall have a climbing apparatus that is external of the pole, within 10 feet of
             237      the ground. All access doors or access ways to towers and electrical equipment shall be
             238      kept locked for safety purposes.
             239           4.1.9 Noise
             240          The large wind energy system and associated equipment shall not exceed 60 dBa as
             241      measured from the nearest neighboring inhabitable structure.
             242      4.2 Siting Conditions and Property Maintenance
             243           4.2.1 Land Clearing, Soil Erosion, and Habitat Impacts
             244          If the Permit Granting Authority has standards for land clearing, soil erosion control,


             245      and habitat impact mitigation and/or habitat reclamation, those same standards should apply. If
             246      the Permit Granting Authority does not have previously prescribed standards, the following is
             247      recommended for adoption.
             248          Clearing of natural vegetation shall be limited to that which is necessary for the
             249      construction, operation, and maintenance of the large wind energy system and is
             250      otherwise prescribed by applicable laws, regulations, and ordinances. Once the system
             251      is operational, any land that has been disturbed and is not necessary for the functioning
             252      of the system shall be reclaimed with natural vegetation immediately. Soil erosion is to
             253      be mitigated by the use of silt fencing, any accumulated product of which can be used in
             254      the site reclamation.
             255           4.2.3 System Conditions
             256          The applicant shall maintain the large wind energy system and/or project in good
             257      condition. Maintenance shall include, but not be limited to, painting, structural repairs,
             258      and security measures.
             259           4.2.4 Removal and Decommissioning Requirements
             260          Any large wind energy system and/or project, which has reached the end of its useful
             261      life or has been abandoned, shall be removed. A large wind energy system or project
             262      shall be considered abandoned when it fails to operate for 24 months. Upon a Notice of
             263      Abandonment issued by the Building Inspector, the large wind energy system or project
             264      owner will have 60 days to provide sufficient evidence that the system has not been
             265      abandoned or the Permit Granting Authority shall have the authority to enter the
             266      owner's property and remove the system at the owner's expense.
             267           4.2.5 Reclamation
             268          Once the system has been removed the owner is then responsible for land reclamation
             269      using the natural vegetation that was removed or disturbed upon construction of the
             270      project. To the greatest extent possible, the land shall have returned to its natural state
             271      within five years of the removal and decommissioning of the project.
             272      4.3 Permit Granting Authority Issued Permits
             273          A large wind energy system shall be constructed as provided in this section by first
             274      obtaining a permit from the Permit Granting Authority. Permit applications for project
             275      expansions shall be based on the total nameplate capacity including the existing project.


             276           4.3.1 Modifications
             277          Any physical modification to an existing and permitted wind energy system that
             278      materially alters the size and/or type of wind turbines or other equipment shall require a
             279      permit modification under this ordinance. Replacement of an already permitted turbine
             280      with a similar size and height will not require a permit modification.
             281           4.3.2 Conditional Use Permits
             282          A conditional use permit may be granted in the case where a proposed large wind
             283      energy system or project does not satisfy the standard criteria of the building permit set
             284      forth under this ordinance. The applicant must then seek review of, and petition the
             285      Permit Granting Authority for a Conditional Use Permit. This CUP variance from the
             286      standard building permit criteria will only be applicable to that specific non-conforming
             287      project.
             288           4.3.3 Expiration
             289          A permit issued pursuant to this ordinance shall expire if:
             290          (a) the large wind energy system or project is not installed and functioning within 48
             291      months from the date the permit is issued; or
             292          (b) the large wind energy system or project is abandoned.
             293           4.3.4 Violations
             294          It is unlawful for any person to construct, install, or operate a large wind energy system
             295      or project that is not in compliance with this ordinance or with any condition contained
             296      in a building permit issued pursuant to this ordinance. Large wind energy systems
             297      installed prior to the adoption of this ordinance are exempt.
             298           4.3.5 Administration and Enforcement
             299          (a) This ordinance shall be administered and enforced by the Building Inspector or
             300      other official as designated by the Permit Granting Authority.
             301          (b) The Building Inspector may enter any property for which a building permit has
             302      been issued under this ordinance to conduct an inspection to determine whether the
             303      conditions stated in the permit have been met.
             304           4.3.6 Penalties
             305          Any person who fails to comply with any provision of this ordinance or a building
             306      permit issued, pursuant to this ordinance, shall be subject to enforcement and penalties


             307      as allowed by applicable law.
             308      4.4 Compliance with Laws, Ordinances, and Regulations
             309          The construction and operation of all such proposed large wind energy systems shall be
             310      consistent with all applicable local, state, and federal requirements, including all
             311      applicable safety, construction, environmental, electrical, communications,
             312          and FAA aviation requirements.
             313      5.0 General Requirements -- Temporary Meteorological Towers (Met towers)
             314      5.1 Permitted Use by Rule
             315          Met tower installations shall be considered a permitted use in all zoning districts where
             316      the following criteria are met.
             317          (1) Applicants shall submit the following information to the Permit Granting Authority
             318      prior to commencing any installation or construction:
             319          (a) a site plan drawn at an appropriate scale with the following information:
             320          (i) the perimeter and dimensions of the property;
             321          (ii) the names and locations of all streets, roads, or highways on or contiguous to the
             322      property;
             323          (iii) the locations of all easements or rights-of-way on the property;
             324          (iv) the names and locations of all rivers, streams, or waterways on or contiguous to the
             325      property;
             326          (v) the use, location, and dimension of all structures on the property (include distance
             327      from all proposed structures to the property lines);
             328          (vi) a scale; and
             329          (vii) a north arrow.
             330          (2) In addition to other applicable provisions set forth in these regulations, approval of
             331      met tower applications shall be subject to the following requirements:
             332          (a) All necessary zoning certificates and building permits shall be applied for and
             333      issued, and all structural reviews shall be completed by the Permit Granting Authority
             334      prior to construction.
             335          (b) The met tower shall be constructed in conformity with all applicable FAA
             336      regulations and all FAA notices and approvals shall be received and submitted to the
             337      Permit Granting Authority prior to any construction.


             338          (c) Applicants shall furnish evidence that applicable rights-of-way have been granted
             339      for access to the met tower across any private, state, or BLM lands. For BLM
             340      right-of-way grants, applicants may furnish a copy of the signed BLM Right-of-Way
             341      Grant application together with evidence that applicable fees have been tendered to the
             342      BLM.
             343          (d) The met tower shall be in place for a period not exceeding three years. Applicants
             344      shall provide the Permit Granting Authority with 90 days prior written notice of
             345      removal of the tower.
             346          (e) In the event the applicant desires to relocate the met tower, the applicant shall
             347      receive prior written approval from the Permit Granting Authority and furnish
             348      coordinates for the new tower location.
             349          (f) If the applicant desires to extend the tower usage period, a request for an extension
             350      must be submitted in writing 90 days prior to the expiration of this permit to the Permit
             351      Granting Authority for consideration.
             352          (g) The met tower shall not physically obstruct or encumber any road, power line, or
             353      pipeline easement.




Legislative Review Note
    as of 12-19-08 11:11 AM


Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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