With increasing optimism regarding offshore wind energy and commercial solar power, renewable energy projects are starting to gain steam with Louisianians. Although utility-scale solar projects are novel in Louisiana, Act 301 (formerly Senate Bill 185) proactively addresses the concerns of taxpayers, landowners, and developers concerning solar leases.
Act 301, which was signed into law by Governor Edwards on June 14, 2021 and takes effect on August 1, amends two provisions of Louisiana Revised Statute § 30:1154, requiring the secretary of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to develop regulations governing solar leases. The Act tasks the DNR with promulgating minimum requirements for maintenance of property during a lease, including establishing minimum spacing between installations and setbacks, as well as decommissioning and final site closure upon termination of a lease.
Although Act 301 aims to proactively mitigate future issues with solar farm decommissioning, the legislation likely has little bearing on residential use of solar devices on private property, as the Act clarifies that the development, installation, or operation of solar devices installed on private property for residential use may not be precluded by the DNR secretary.