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A Model Ordinance for Energy Projects
The Oregon Department of Energy provides guidance to local governments to address energy project planning needs at the city and county level. A Model Ordinance for Energy Projects (see below) describes energy projects and siting issues and includes model ordinance language and commentary. The model language provides a conceptual framework, which local governments can adapt to suit local circumstances and to address local energy resources.
 
Although the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council has responsibility for siting large energy facilities, the Siting Council has no authority to regulate energy projects that fall below certain thresholds as determined by the Oregon Legislature. The Siting Council has no role in regulation of hydroelectric projects. Instead, the Oregon Water Resources Commission has the authority at the state level to appropriate water and issue licenses for hydroelectric development.
 
By adopting energy ordinances, local governments have the ability to affect energy siting decisions on all energy projects and facilities proposed within the local jurisdictions. Both the Siting Council and the Water Resources Commission consider local land use ordinances when they make permitting decisions for energy facilities under their statutory authority. By adopting land use ordinances that address energy development, cities and counties have an opportunity to establish public policy that will apply not just to locally-regulated projects, but also to all energy development within the local area.
 
In presenting this guidance, the Oregon Department of Energy seeks to increase understanding and stimulate consideration of energy project siting needs and issues common to Oregon cities and counties. The model ordinance may serve as a basis to increase local regulatory options and local influence in the siting of large energy facilities through the Siting Council and the Water Resources Commission.

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This document is a work-in-progress. The department welcomes comments and suggestions to make future versions more useful. Please send comments to Ginny Gustafson at Virginia.Gustafson@odoe.state.or.us.