Montour County Considering Solar Energy Development

The Montour County Commissioners are considering amendments to the County Zoning Ordinance that would allow for the development of solar energy systems in the townships that fall under the County’s Planning Commission. The proposed changes are in response to the Montour Solar One project in Derry and Anthony townships on land owned by Talen Energy around the Montour Steam Electric Station. A public hearing regarding the proposed amendments will be held Thursday, July 22nd at 7 p.m. at the County Administration Center on East Front Street.

Last week, Montour Solar One hosted a Business After Hours at the Pine Barn Inn to provide an overview of the project and answer questions. Tele-town halls were also held within the past 9 months. Information about the proposed project is available at montoursolar.com.

The Board of Directors of The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce has encouraged zoning that allows for solar energy systems while reasonably protecting the environment and neighboring residents and businesses. The development of such projects provides an economic boost with temporary construction jobs and diversifies Pennsylvania’s renewable energy portfolio. In a letter to the Montour County Planning Commission in November, the Chamber suggested that zoning language should address development setbacks, glare, vegetative and other screenings, and provide for the responsible removal of the equipment at the end of the project or the useful life of the equipment.

A draft of the proposed amendments is available here.