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Local Siting Opposition to Clean Energy

10th Annual UNC Cleantech Summit

    Speaking Engagements
  • March 21, 2024

Katherine Ross spoke on a panel March 21 at the 10th Annual UNC Cleantech Summit in Chapel Hill. Katherine was joined on the panel by a county planner, a UNC School of Government professor, and other attorneys.

Katherine, who leads Parker Poe's Energy Industry Team, offered insights into the siting of clean energy projects and fostering meaningful public engagement. Katherine shared some of her insights about the importance of engaging with the public early on in the development process with the UNC Cleantech Corner initiative.

By engaging with the public early, the community and developer have time to build relationships, allowing residents to become more informed about a clean energy project, Katherine said.

Without meaningful engagement, the public is more prone to raise opposition to a project, Katherine said. Targeted education can lead the public to learn more about a project's limited impact on a community, helping to reduce opposition during the permit hearing process.

Katherine highlighted ways to navigate concerns raised by the public, including by allowing residents to visit a project that's already in operation. Some residents worry a project will change their community's rural aesthetic, and these visits can help reduce those concerns.

Clean energy projects should be well-sited, meaning developers should consider how to be good neighbors and transparent about potential impacts.

You can read more about Katherine's insights on balancing the importance of clean energy projects and addressing community concerns by clicking here: Addressing Local Disputes and Fostering Community Engagement

The UNC Cleantech Summit brings together industry leaders to showcase a range of topics about the growth in the Southeast's cleantech economy, from the global energy transition to implications of the Inflation Reduction Act for businesses and entrepreneurs, among several other areas.