Solar@Scale Session 5: Zoning for Large-Scale Solar Development
Local officials can use explicit regulations to ensure solar projects are consistent with the community’s vision and goals for large-scale solar development and provide a degree of certainty to community members and solar developers about local requirements for different types of solar development. Join this webinar to learn about the importance of defining key terms, specifying permissible uses, and establishing appropriate standards and development charges for large-scale solar development.
Michael Zehner, AICP
Director of Environmental Programs, Berkley Group
Michael has worked as a professional municipal planner for almost 20 years. Beginning his career with communities in metropolitan Atlanta, Michael has led planning activities for the City of Lexington, Virginia, Town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, and, most recently, the Town of Nags Head, North Carolina.
Michael is originally from Farmville, Virginia. After receiving his Bachelor’s in Political Science from Virginia Tech, Michael's first professional job was as a legislative assistant for U.S. Congressman Virgil H. Goode, Jr., Virginia’s Fifth District. Through this role, Michael had the opportunity to work with several communities on economic development and infrastructure projects that piqued his interest in community planning. In his career, Michael’s responsibilities have covered the spectrum of planning-related matters, including a recent focus on hazard mitigation, resiliency, and environmental planning given Nags Head’s coastal location and unique geography.
Michael values public service, and appreciates an organic, no idea is bad, process to developing solutions to challenging problems. Michael is an AICP certified planner, has served as an elected member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Planning Association executive committee, and currently serves a vice-chair of the Legislative Committee for the North Carolina Chapter.
Principal, Cadmus Group
Chad Laurent oversees the Sustainability & Energy practice. He specializes in renewable energy law and policy, sustainable business strategies, and renewable energy project development. He is a nationally recognized expert in renewable energy market development strategies.
Prior to joining Cadmus, Chad was Vice President and General Counsel at Meister Consultants Group, where he oversaw the firm’s contracting, legal, and financial operations, and supported corporate-wide strategic planning, and business development. Since 2010, he has overseen multiple U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technology Office projects on behalf of MCG and Cadmus. He frequently works with corporate, university, nonprofit, and municipal clients to develop 100 percent renewable, decarbonization, electric vehicle, net-zero, renewable energy supply, and procurement strategies. Chad has developed international power purchase agreement toolkits and procurement policies and is an on-call legal and policy expert for the Clean Energy Solutions Center and the Clean Power Hub. He has provided legal and policy consultation on national renewable energy programs from Azerbaijan to Vietnam.
Chad holds a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School, where he was a Rappaport Honors Fellow in law and public policy (in collaboration with the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard University), and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Environmental Policy & Behavior and Natural Resource Ecology and Management. He is a professionally trained mediator and facilitator, and is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar.