Opinion: Norwood resident expresses views on huge Canton solar farm
To the Editor:
For the past five years I have produced enough energy with my home solar panels to reduce my electric cost to National Grid to less than $20/month. That covers the line charge and various “other” taxes and fees. To achieve this, you have to be energy consumption conscious, but it is achievable without hardship. It is also very important to keep in mind the yearly hours of daylight in this area average 11.98 hours. When have we ever had a year of 365 days of sun? Um, Never.I will say the incentives we received for the installation made it possible and this is how solar should be done. Not by building massive 1700-acre ugly solar farms, which generate power that does not stay here or benefit our area.
As stated in a NCN article published 10.11.19 “Large, 3.5 square mile solar electric project planned for Canton.”
“Once completed, the commercial energy center would be nearly 3.5 square miles, roughly 40 percent of which would be covered with solar panels. NYPA’s Moses-Adirondack Transmission Line runs south directly through the area to be occupied by the proposed center.
Power generated from the $220 million facility would be transmitted into the grid, and sold on the open market. It would not directly power local residences and businesses” So how is the “community benefiting?” It’s not in any long-term manner. The only benefiting parties are EDF Renewables, an international company based in France, the property owner leasing the land and downstate residents and businesses.
Much like the power generated by the damming of the St. Lawrence River 60 plus years ago we were made all kinds of promises of prosperity upon completion. Where is the economic benefit we were promised? The majority of the power generated at NYPA is shipped down-state. And the contractual power promised for industry left when General Motors and Reynolds closed. Looks like a familiar story.
Yes, small farming is either dead or dying here. But I think it would be far better to keep the land tillable and productive by selling to one of the mega-farms. If the land owners sold at a minimum of $750/acre they stood to make nearly $1.3 million. I believe most tillable acreage is selling at near $1000/acre. At minimum mega-farms are keeping people employed and putting money back into the local economy. The economic gains for this project in this area are negligible. Besides, we can’t eat money or electricity.
This was another step in the Green Climate Change Propaganda play book and Canton got the short end of the stick with the ugly metal and glass to look at to the benefit of downstate.
Local politicians would serve us better by garnering more state and federal incentives for homeowners and businesses to install enough solar on their own property to cover all or a significant portion of their costs for electricity. As well as negotiating with National Grid for solar incentives. But you know who doesn’t want this? National Grid. Currently National Grid charges 20.02 cents per kilowatt hour and the average home consumes 572 kilowatt-hours every day. You do the math.