Barnegat Considers Ground-Mounted Solar Panel Regulations 

Nov 22, 2017

Regulations governing solar panels are on the Barnegat Township Committee’s to-do list. At the Nov. 14 meeting, Township Engineer John Hess informed officials that the township zoning office recently received paperwork from individuals looking to erect ground-mounted solar panels.

“As far as I know, there are none existing in the township,” said Hess. “But I have seen them in other towns."

He said such structures could be appealing because rooftop solar arrays are restricted by the characteristics of the roof on which they are installed. But ground-mounted arrays can be located wherever the conditions are best.

In addition, he noted ground-mounted systems are easy to place because they can be located on open land and don’t require drilling into the roof.

“They can be set at the appropriate angle to optimize energy production,” he said.

However, Hess said such panels could create sun glare issues, especially if they are located near a busy roadway.

“You are going to have to decide how to regulate them,” he said. “You’ll have to look into lot size requirements. Or if trees have to be cut down to make room, how much of the land can be cleared.”

The committee then instructed Township Attorney Jerry Dasti to investigate the matter.

“We can look at what other towns have done with them,” said Committeeman John Novak. “We will also need input from the planning and zoning board.” —E.E.

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