by Jodi Summers
Ever hear of the California Solar Rights Act and Solar Shade Control Act? Yeah, neither have we. These acts give California, “A near absolute right to install solar energy systems as long as there will not be an adverse impact upon public health or safety,” observes Anthony Marinaccio an associate at Alvarez-Glasman & Colvin, who specializes in the fields of land use, solar rights, government relations, environmental law.
“These two Acts are powerful tools for developers and commercial property owners to use when planning to install or incorporate solar panels on their properties—either as part of an existing project, a new project, or a ‘solar farm,” advises Matthew Gorman, a partner at Alvarez-Glasman & Colvin, who specializes in the fields of land use, solar rights, government relations, environmental law.
The Solar Rights Act “empowers developers to incorporate solar energy systems into the projects by barring cities, counties, and other local governments from establishing obstructions to the installation of solar energy systems and by streamlining the issuance of permits for such systems,” points out Marinaccio.
To be empowered, developers must ensure that the solar system meets all local and commercial health and safety standards. The Solar Rating Certification Corp. or other comparable national organization will certify all solar energy systems for heating water. The National Electric Code and Public Utilities are responsible for the standards of safety and reliability, which must be met for solar energy systems that produce electricity.
Once these three criteria are satisfied, a developer nearly has a right to install such solar panels in conjunction with local rules.
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