Solar Siting Authority Across the United States

February 2021
Elena Essa, Kristina Curtiss, Claire Dodinval

This report aims to understand the policy and regulatory landscape surrounding solar siting in the United States in the past, present and looking towards the future. The scope of this analysis includes siting for photovoltaic (PV) solar projects at utility-scale for the U.S. local, 
state, and federal levels. For the purposes of this report, utility-scale solar is defined as electricity produced by solar generation that is fed directly into the U.S. grid rather than directly used for on-site electricity demand. The background section comprises of a literature review, case studies on state narratives related to U.S. solar siting, an analysis of state-specific interviews, and a glossary of current U.S. state policies for siting solar with a discussion of the glossary's findings and trends. Policy reviewed found that some states' siting policies refer to energy projects or general transmission and siting, which by extension applies to solar. Therefore, solar siting authority is often consistent with current literature on wind siting 
authority, but some key differences exist across states.