Stakeholder perspectives on the local benefits and burdens of large-scale solar energy development in the United States

Stakeholder perspectives on the local benefits and burdens of large-scale solar energy development in the United States

January 31, 2024

 

This webinar highlights key information from Berkeley Lab research entitled "Good fences make good neighbors: Stakeholder perspectives on the local benefits and burdens of large-scale solar energy development in the United States". This study examines the perceived benefits and burdens of recent LSS developments through 54 interviews with a broad set of stakeholders including residents, officials and developers at seven large-scale solar (LSS) sites across the US. The research focuses on identifying residents' most common concerns regarding LSS systems across states, site types, landscapes and ownership structures.

The authors find concerns are associated with either LSS development processes or impacts, and center on the type and amount of information provided, the community's influence over project design, the efficacy of community subscription efforts, as well as projects' economic, environmental, and visual and landscape impacts. The authors also investigate potential strategies that have been employed to improve perceptions and project outcomes, which include increasing in-person engagement, more explicit discussion of project tradeoffs, third-party intermediaries acting as community champions, and explicit requirements for meaningful local economic benefits.

In this webinar, the authors describe the data, methodology, results and conclusions from this new study.

The work was made possible through funding support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office.