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Landowner Problems with Solar Projects – Part II

By: J. Richard Emens, Cody Smith
Emens Wolper Jacobs & Jasin
The Landowners Law Firm
Columbus, Ohio

This article is for landowners whose land is ADJACENT to or NEAR an Ohio Solar Project (ADJACENT Landowners) – – whether the project is for more than OR less than 50 MW (Megawatts)

Many Adjacent Landowners will not realize, until it is too late, that the following problems can occur on their land which is NOT include in a solar project:

  1. No or inadequate drainage protection of current drainage patterns.
  2. Potential liability and/or litigation involving the landowner for electrical shock and other injuries to family or third parties.
  3. Adverse impacts to existing trees, buildings and fences.
  4. Dust and dirt being spread on the land and/or the adjacent road and lands.
  5. Loud noises causing disturbance to the landowners and neighbors.
  6. Glare and glint problems resulting in brief loss of vision to landowners and neighbors.
  7. Damage to water aquifer of the landowner and neighbors.
  8. Increase in traffic on the local roads that prevent use by the landowner and neighbors.
  9. Animosity of adjacent or nearby landowners.

Adjacent Landowners of a solar project for MORE than 50 MW will likely want to file with the Ohio Power Siting Board (“OPSB”) to minimize the stated problems AND attempt to negotiate with the Solar Company for relief. Where an “Under 50 MW” project is to be constructed Adjacent Landowners cannot expect help for the OPSB so must rely on negotiating with the Solar Company and obtaining assistance from County Commissioners, Township Trustees, and neighbors.

And because appearing before the OPSB and/or negotiating with solar companies may be challenging, we recommend that Adjacent Landowners work closely with the Ohio Farm Bureau and knowledgeable attorneys to reduce the number and impact of the listed problems