According to its current Stormwater Design Manual, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality allows solar panels associated with ground-mounted solar farms to be considered pervious if configured such that they promote sheet flow of stormwater from the panels and allow natural infiltration of stormwater into the ground beneath the panels. For solar development, an erosion control and sedimentation permit is required, which involves on-site inspections and approval by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. The permit requires establishment of permanent vegetative ground cover sufficient to restrain erosion; according to DEQ staff, the site must be “completely stabilized,” although this does not require a specific percentage of ground cover. In-depth information on erosion control and sedimentation laws, rules, principles, and practices is available at the NC DEQ’s website. Once permanent vegetation is established it will be necessary to maintain soil pH and fertility as mentioned above in order to ensure sufficient, healthy, and continuous ground cover for erosion control.
- ^ North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. StormwaterDesign Manual Ch E-6 Solar Farms.April 2017. Accessed June 2017.https://ncdenr.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/Energy%20Mineral%20and%20Land%20Resources/Stormwater/BMP%20Manual/E-6_Solar_Farms.pdf
- ^ Julie Ventaloro, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, personal communication, June 14, 2017.