Madison County - Wind Energy Systems Ordinance (North Carolina)

From Open Energy Information

Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place North Carolina
Name Madison County - Wind Energy Systems Ordinance
Incentive Type Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Applicable Sector Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, Residential
Eligible Technologies Wind
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector Local
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Date added to DSIRE 2010-09-09
Last DSIRE Review 2012-09-26
Last Substantive Modification
to Summary by DSIRE

References DSIRE[1]


Madison County adopted a new land use ordinance in May 2010, which includes provisions for permitting wind turbines within the county.

For the purposes of this ordinance, wind-energy facilities are classified as "small" if they consist of one or more turbines with a rated generating capacity of 10 kilowatts (kW) or less, “medium” if a project has a rated capacity between 10 kW and 50 kW, and large if a project has a rated capacity of more than 50 kW. In general small wind energy facilities are treated as a conditional use in residential zones. As a conditional use, a small wind energy facility may be installed in the approved residential zoning districts if the Board of Adjustment finds that all requirements have been met. Small wind energy facilities are treated as a permitted use in most other zoning districts. Medium wind energy facilities are not permitted in most residential zoning districts, but are treated as a conditional use in most others. Large wind energy facilities are treated as a conditional use in the commercial and residential-agricultural zoning districts. A full break down of the permitting requirements for wind facilities in each zoning district can be found in the land use ordinance above.

The ordinance requires all wind energy facilities to be setback from property lines, public roads and occupied buildings on the wind turbine owner's property a distance equal to twice the height of the tower. They must also be setback a distance of 2.5 times the tower height from any occupied buildings on an adjacent parcel of land not owned by the wind turbine owner.

The ordinance also establishes restrictions to reduce noise and shadow flicker produced by large wind energy facilities. The ordinance does not establish similar restrictions for small and medium systems as these issues should be indirectly addressed by the setback requirements and existing noise ordinances. Requirements for the installation, design and decommissioning of systems are also addressed in the ordinance.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Tony Williams
Department Madison County
Division Permits and Inspections
Address 5707 US 25/70
Place Marshall, North Carolina
Phone (828) 649-3766


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: Madison County Land Use Ordinance (sec. 8.8)

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"