The need to transition to renewable energy sources is urgent, but with this urgency also comes a recognition of the impact this transition may have on resources that land trusts have long prioritized for conservation. How can land trusts and other environmental organizations play a key role in advocating for a timely transition to renewable energy while fulfilling our missions to protect our natural, historic, scenic, and agricultural resources? In this session two land trusts—Scenic Hudson (NY) and Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) (VA)—will showcase regional and local approaches they are employing to navigate the intersection of conservation objectives with solar energy development. On a regional scale, our spatial analyses examine the likely impacts to conservation targets and can help formulate organizational approaches to directing solar energy siting to lower impact areas. At both Scenic Hudson and PEC we are complementing these regional approaches with engagement on the project level, helping communities understand and achieve well-sited solar energy projects. We will share examples of how we are helping jurisdictions develop criteria and public processes to review solar development proposals for optimal siting, and advocating for appropriate mitigation or restoration actions on specific sites.
Session Level: Intermediate Session Location: Raleigh Convention Center