Legislation supported by Pennsylvania Farm Bureau that would ensure agricultural land can be properly restored after hosting solar energy installations has cleared its first hurdle in the General Assembly.
Senate Bill 284, sponsored by Sen. Gene Yaw of Lycoming County, was OK’d by the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee with a 7-4 vote. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
In addition to establishing requirements for how farmland should be restored after solar installations are decommissioned, the legislation would require that solar developers be bonded to protect landowners in the event that the solar company goes out of business. Bonding would ensure that landowners do not become financially responsible for removal and disposal of out-of-service solar equipment on their property in such cases.
PFB supports solar energy development and the opportunities it brings for agriculture but believes strong protections must be in place to ensure that farmland can be restored after solar leases expire.