Model Ordinance for Renewable Energy Projects (Oregon)

From Open Energy Information

Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place Oregon
Name Model Ordinance for Renewable Energy Projects
Incentive Type Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Applicable Sector Agricultural, Commercial, Fed. Government, Industrial, Institutional, Local Government, Nonprofit, Residential, Schools, State Government
Eligible Technologies Anaerobic Digestion, Biodiesel, Biomass, CHP/Cogeneration, Geothermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal Electric, Wind
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Date added to DSIRE 2005-01-07
Last DSIRE Review 2012-12-13

References DSIRE[1]


NOTE: This model ordinance was designed to provide guidance to local governments that wish to develop their own siting rules for renewable energy projects. While it was developed by the Oregon Department of Energy, the model itself has no legal or regulatory authority.

The Oregon Department of Energy issued guidance to local governments to address wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and co-generation project planning needs at the city and county level in July 2005. The Model Ordinance for Energy Projects describes energy projects and siting issues and includes model ordinance language and commentary. Energy projects below certain thresholds are not regulated by the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council, so the model ordinance can serve as a basis for local regulation of these energy projects. The model language provides a conceptual framework that local governments can adapt to suit local circumstances and to address local energy resources.

The model ordinance not only includes general standards for all energy projects, but also details specific standards for different technologies. Specific standards for wind address visual impact, wildlife resources, public safety, and setbacks. The model ordinance is intended to apply to commercial wind projects; residential or agricultural projects under 50 kilowatts (kW) in size are exempt. Specific standards for solar address acreage, ground leveling, wildlife resources, misdirection of solar radiation, public safety, airport proximity, and cleaning chemicals and solvents. The model ordinance is intended to apply to large-scale solar electric projects that generate electricity for structures located off-site. It should be noted that the specific setback and clearance distances in the model ordinance are meant to be suggestions only; they illustrate the concept, but are not formal recommendations or standards.

The model ordinance also includes guidance on electric power transmission and distribution lines, natural gas and petroleum pipelines, and biofuel production plants.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name John White
Department Oregon Department of Energy
Address 625 Marion Street, N.E.
Place Salem, Oregon
Zip/Postal Code 97301-3737
Phone (503) 378-4040
Phone 2 (800) 221-8035

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

Authority 1: Model Ordinance for Energy Projects
Date Enacted 2005

  • 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)"