An Act To Support Farmland Preservation by Allowing the Siting of Solar Energy Installations on Land Enrolled in the Farm and Open Space Tax Law Program
Sec. 1. 36 MRSA §1105-A is enacted to read:
§ 1105-A. Farmland used for solar energy production
(1) Land classified by the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service pursuant to 7 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 657.5 as:
(a) Prime farmland;
(b) Unique farmland;
(c) Farmland of statewide importance; or
(d) Farmland of local importance; and
(2) Land characterized by active agricultural use.
(1) Meets the rules established by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, pursuant to subsection 3, including the capability of being easily dismantled;
(2) Does not occupy more than 50% of farmland consisting of agricultural soil;
(3) If the portion of the parcel on which the solar energy equipment is located consists of wooded portions enrolled as farmland under this subchapter, does not occupy wooded portions that exceed 10 acres; and
(4) Is not located in a significant wildlife habitat as defined in Title 38, section 480-B, subsection 10, the habitat of an endangered species as defined in Title 12, section 10001, subsection 19 or a threatened species as defined in Title 12, section 10001, subsection 62, a rare or exemplary natural community or ecosystem as determined by the State's Natural Areas Program database or a shoreland zone as defined in Title 38, section 482, subsection 4-F.
This bill allows the siting of solar energy installations on land classified as farmland under the farm and open space tax law without requiring the portion of the parcel on which the solar energy installation is located to be withdrawn from the farm and open space tax law program.