Template Ordinance for Solar Energy Development in North Carolina


The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center and the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) managed the development of this template ordinance and the organization of the drafting working group. The working group consisted of representatives of the solar industry, local North Carolina planners, State Farm Bureau, N.C. Department of Agriculture, N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), N.C. Association of County Commissioners, N.C. League of Municipalities, military, University of North Carolina School of Government, N.C. Conservation Network, Duke Energy Progress, North Carolina State University Forestry, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and many others. The initial draft was developed by the Center and NCSEA in May 2013 based on a study of current North Carolina solar ordinances and available state model ordinances. Throughout the summer and fall the working group, often in the form of smaller topic-specific focus groups, worked to improve and update the existing drafts. Additionally, the Center and NCSEA hosted five public forums across the state on the development of the template ordinance. This process led to the template ordinance (updated in 2016) provided below:


Template Ordinance for Solar Energy Development in North Carolina

Click here for the solar ordinance template (includes executive summary, introduction, 30 stakeholders available for contact, sources of support for local governments, the template ordinance, and appendices of supporting information). The template is also available in Word format without introduction and contact information for editing by local governments.


Letter to Membership

Letter to membership of North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, North Carolina League of Municipalities, and the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association and communities across North Carolina


Report on The Development of the North Carolina Template Solar Ordinance

Click here for a summary of the process of developing the ordinance and the history of changes in each section of the template.


UNC Student Paper on Solar Ordinance

UNC Student research paper entitled Identifying and Confronting Challenges Associated with Solar Ordinance Implementation by UNC Template Solar Ordinance Implementation Study Team.


Click here to read the press release announcing the ordinance.