Capturing Community Benefits from Large-Scale Solar Development

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Learning Outcomes

  • Explain four distinct types of potential benefits that communities can capture from large-scale solar development
  • Summarize how comprehensive plans, zoning regulations, and discretionary land-use approval processes can affect the local capture of large-scale solar development benefits
  • Assess the feasibility of specific benefit-capture approaches.

More Course Details

Community- and utility-scale solar development is necessary to decarbonize the grid. Yet, without careful planning, there is no guarantee that host communities will receive their fair share of project benefits. Prepare to help your community capture a greater share of benefits from local, large-scale, solar-development projects. Learn how broader solar market conditions — such as state tax incentives, utility business models, and regulatory structures — can limit a host community's opportunities to capture project benefits.

The speaker introduces the concept of a fair share of local benefits. He identifies four types of potential community benefits — local economic development; direct payments to local governments for public facilities or services; expanded access to clean energy; and ecological improvements — and points out the most important project features for each type.

Explore how comprehensive plans can establish policy support for capturing specific benefits from large-scale solar projects and learn how planners can integrate different benefit-capture approaches into zoning regulations and land-use approval processes.