U.S. solar industry protests risk classification of solar parks

The U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) sees a new threat to the expansion of renewable energy in a proposal by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the national coordinating body for disaster relief, that ground-mounted solar power plants, wind turbines, and ground-mounted energy storage facilities would be assigned the highest risk level in the U.S. International Building Code (IBC). The plants would then be on par with hospitals or fire stations and would also have to meet the same safety requirements. This would make renewable energy unnecessarily more expensive, SEIA criticizes, »without any benefits to reliable electric service.« The association therefore believes the proposed change in the law is unworkable.
According to SEIA, more than 200 U.S. renewable energy companies have already signed a letter urging voting members of the International Code Council (IBC) advisory board to reject the proposal and adopt a series of compromise solutions. One compromise could be to include solar projects in risk category 2. This would still increase requirements, but at a reasonable level, according to SEIA.

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