Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Planning & Development
Solar Panels

Solar Energy Systems and Town Comprehensive Plans

Any electric generating facility, whether renewable energy or not, that generates 100 megawatts of power or more must be approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.

Renewable energy-powered electrical generating facilities under 100 megawatts go through a conditional use permit (CUP) process under county zoning. Towns may adopt policies for renewable energy CUPs, as part of their town/county comprehensive plan.  The town could then use the plan language to recommend conditions on any CUP.  Since the county zoning ordinance already requires that CUPs be consistent with adopted town/county comprehensive plans, this may be easier, and have a stronger legal framework, than the town adopting an independent ordinance.