Solar plants draw concerns from Louisiana farmers, officials

Louisiana News

A rooftop is covered with solar panels at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in New York. ConEdison Solutions installed 3,152 solar panels on the roof of Building 293 in 2016. The new panels will generate 1.1 million kilowatt hours of energy per year, according to the mayor’s office. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided more than $600,000 in incentives for the project. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The push to build solar plants in Louisiana has been drawing increasing scrutiny.

That attention is coming from state lawmakers and local officials, who say farmers fear being crowded out of land leases by solar companies with deeper pockets.

The Advocate reports at least three parishes have issued moratoriums on utility-scale solar projects. Some legislative leaders also took aim at solar developments in the legislative session and asked the Louisiana Department of Economic Development to halt property tax breaks for such projects.

Those involved in the debate hope a bill will help resolve the issues by requiring the Department of Natural Resources to craft regulations for utility-scale solar plants.

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