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We’re all familiar with the high-profile battles that often accompany utility-scale energy projects. But small, residential energy projects can face similar obstacles.

Last week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune looked at how many cities lack the regulatory framework to deal with small wind turbines, making it difficult to obtain proper permits and even prompting legal fights.

EnergyNOW highlights some other examples of homeowners facing bureaucratic hurdles when trying to install renewable energy systems on their own property. In one case, a homeowner is told he can’t put solar panels on a sun-drenched pier because structures aren’t permitted on the water. Another is initially required to plant 23 new trees to replace the one he wanted to cut down to allow more sunlight to reach his roof:

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.