CRISFIELD, Md.- An out-of-state developer plans to build a solar panel farm in Crisfield, but state and county regulations could halt the process. One Energy Renewables, based in Seattle wants state and county approval to install more than 21,000 solar panels on 40 acres of land on Plantation Road.
The land owned by Reba Tull and family has been used as farm land for decades.One Energy Renewables has been leasing the land from the Tull family while the application process and testing is being completed.
Maryland's Forest Conservation Act requires 40 acres of trees to be planted on the property to off set new development of the land. The developer and Tull family do not agree with this requirement and are seeking a waiver from the state.
Neighbor Faith Elliott said she is not opposed to solar energy, but does not think her neighborhood is the best place for a solar farm.
"I have some concerns just because of how close I live to it. I don't know what's all involved with the project; I know solar energy is great, I just don't know if I want it that close to my home," Elliott said.
Gary Pusey, Somerset County's planning director, said the county is maintaining a strict requirement on the state's Forest Conservation Act. He said a hearing will be held Friday in Baltimore with the Public Service Commission to address the waiver request. Pusey said the county would still need to sign off on the project before it can move forward. A final decision on the project is not expected until March.
WBOC News reached out to One Energy Renewables on Thursday for comment but did not receive a response.