The Washington County Board of Commissioners voted 4-0 Tuesday to approve an amendment to the county zoning ordinance that will allow commercial solar energy-generating systems as a special exception in some county districts.
The amendment applies to grid-tied solar energy-generating systems whose primary purpose is sale to the public utility grid. Solar energy systems for primarily on-site energy use are already included in the ordinance.
The new amendment allows the larger, grid-tied systems as a special exception in the Agriculture (Rural), Environmental Conservation, Preservation, Industrial Mineral, Airport, Industrial General, Industrial Restricted and Planned Industrial zoning districts.
The amendment also specifies design standards for the systems and notes that the Public Service Commission must sign off before a property owner may build a grid-tied solar energy-generating system.
There were no comments from the public during a hearing on the amendment held before the commissioners' vote.
Commissioner John F. Barr was attending another meeting and was absent for the vote.