Solar Easements & Local Option Solar Rights Laws

Program Solar Easements & Local Option Solar Rights Laws
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State New York
Technologies Solar - Passive, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Solar Photovoltaics
Sectors Residential

New York's real property laws allow for the creation of solar easements. Like those in many other states, these are voluntary contracts which must be entered into in order to ensure uninterrupted solar access for solar energy devices. Solar easement agreements are required at a minimum to contain information describing the easement location and orientation to real property subject to the easement, provisions for termination, and provisions for compensation in the event that interference occurs.

The New York General City, Town, and Village codes also allow local zoning districts to make regulations regarding solar access that provide for "the accommodation of solar energy systems and equipment and access to sunlight necessary therefor...". The stated intent of the authorizing legislation enacted in 1979 recognizes "access to solar energy as a valid public purpose within the zoning authority of local governments...".

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