GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Greene County leaders have decided to extend a pause on the construction of solar energy facilities, wind farms and Bitcoin mines in the county.
On Tuesday, the Greene County Commission voted 20-0 with one abstaining to approve a resolution extending a preexisting moratorium on building those types of facilities. The emergency moratorium was first put in place in August 2022 to allow an inspection to be completed and for the Green County Planning Commission to conduct a study on those types of structures.
The resolution states the Greene County Office of Inspection and Regulation found that the Tennessee Farm Bureau had “identified concerns to the Legislature of the State of Tennessee about rapid growth in utility-scale solar installations, which could utilize thousands of acres of farmland for the siting of solar panels and for easements to run transmission lines.”
State leaders heard the concerns from the Tennessee Farm Bureau and ordered a larger study to be done by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR). Greene County’s farm bureau asked that the local moratorium be extended until TACIR completes its study.
TACIR is expected to share its findings and recommendations regarding solar energy by Sept. 30, 2023.
As a result of the commission’s approval, the moratorium on the construction of solar and wind energy sites and Bitcoin mines has been extended by 14 months to expire on April 20, 2024. The Greene County Office of Inspection and Regulation will therefore deny any applications for those three types of facilities during the extended moratorium.
An exception was included in the resolution: the Reed Road Solar Farm, which had “received preliminary approval by the Building and Safety Department.”