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Science, Health, Tech

New law lifts restrictions on residential solar panels

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A new law in Delaware removes red tape barring some homeowners from adding solar panels to their property.

Gov. John Carney (D) signed State Rep. Kim Williams’ (D-Newport) bill Tuesday. It voids any “unreasonable” land-use restrictions on roof and ground mounted solar systems at private residences. 

Energize Delaware is a nonprofit offering loans for solar panels at private residences in the First State. The group has given out $2 million since it was created by state legislation in 2017.

Program manager Suzanne Sebastian says she expects the new law to free up some residences previously unable to take advantage of the program.

“I definitely think it will open up access for those who have not been able to participate in the solar grant programs in the past or add solar at their own expense,” said Sebastian.

Written into the new law is an exception to allow the enforcement of restrictions to solar systems deemed as being “reasonable.”

The law also provides legal fees for the prevailing party of any litigation over its language. 

It also changes the vote required to amend restrictions in a deed related to solar energy from a 2/3 vote to a majority vote of the property owners in a homeowners association.