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Santa Fe County Commissioners Approve Resolution On Renewable Energy

Santa Fe County Commissioner Hank Hughes
Santa Fe County
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Santa Fe County Commissioner Hank Hughes

Santa Fe County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a resolution directing staff to develop a process on how renewable energy projects in the county will be developed.  

The resolution directs staff to engage with expert consultants regarding such projects and to post information concerning conditional use permits for them on the county’s website. 

The resolution states Santa Fe County supports the transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy to combat the climate change crisis and is an area of abundant sunshine with large areas of potential for solar energy production and has some potential for the production of other renewable sources like wind and geothermal.

County Commissioner Hank Hughes who introduced the resolution with Commissioner Anna Hamilton says the idea is to ensure a good and fair process in the move toward more renewable energy programs.

“Giving people a chance to comment as they did through emails and their comments at the last meeting on our process for evaluating renewable energy,” he said. “I think part of my purpose is to assure people that we do take the safety and appropriateness of these projects seriously while also realizing we do need these.”           

The County had asked for public input regarding what regulations should be in place regarding renewable energy projects and got a strong response.

Some of those suggestions were used to modify parts of the resolution including that all commercial solar energy production facility projects regardless of size must meet the Sustainable Land Development Code criteria and that the experts who are consulted would be independent of any applicants or other interested parties.