Red State Voters Reject Solar Farm

December 13, 2015


Look for Ted Cruz’s new talking points on solar energy.

Roanoke-Chowan News Herald, North Carolina:

The Woodland Town Council rejected a proposal to rezone a section of land north of town to M2 (manufacturing) from RA (residential/agricultural), essentially denying approval of a solar farm.

Jane Mann said she is a local native and is concerned about the plants that make the community beautiful.

She is a retired Northampton science teacher and is concerned that photosynthesis, which depends upon sunlight, would not happen and would keep the plants from growing. She said she has observed areas near solar panels where the plants are brown and dead because they did not get enough sunlight.

She also questioned the high number of cancer deaths in the area, saying no one could tell her that solar panels didn’t cause cancer.

“I want to know what’s going to happen,” she said. “I want information. Enough is enough. I don’t see the profit for the town.

“People come with hidden agendas,” she said. “Until we can find if anything is going to damage this community, we shouldn’t sign any paper.”

Bobby Mann said he watched communities dry up when I-95 came along and warned that would happen to Woodland because of the solar farms.

“You’re killing your town,” he said. “All the young people are going to move out.”

He said the solar farms would suck up all the energy from the sun and businesses would not come to Woodland.


11 Responses to “Red State Voters Reject Solar Farm”

  1. dkastner Says:

    To be fair, the best PV solar is that which doesn’t occupy agricultural land or forests. The best PV is on rooftops, parking lots, and warehouses. But yes there are some pretty silly arguments mixed in there.

    • addledlady Says:

      Depends what kind of agriculture and how the panels are installed. Setting them up on frameworks that occupy little actual on-the-ground space can be beneficial. They provide a bit of shade or shelter for sheep, deer or poultry to graze to keep the grasses under control or for growing certain kinds of low growing vegetables or herbs between the rows.

      The slope of the panels directs rainfall and dew runoff into predictable patterns-lines-swales at the base of the panels. Depends really on whether you want to make the area single or multiple use. Single use, crowd the panels as close together as possible. Multiple use, space the rows of panels at a sensible height and a distance that allows whatever activity you want between and beneath them.

      May I just add …

      “He said the solar farms would suck up all the energy from the sun and businesses would not come to Woodland.”

      It’s be nice to make a contribution about low cost, low emission power _attracting_ business to Woodland, but it’d get lost among all the spluttering.

  2. Jim Jenal Says:

    That woman was a *science* teacher? That may be the saddest thing I’ve read in a while!

    • “Sad”? Try frightening. You wonder why we have so many science illiterates in the country?

    • indy222 Says:

      Cancer? from solar panels near by? I guess she’s never heard the advice “better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt”. I sympathize with her former students.

  3. How utterly demented.

  4. skeptictmac57 Says:

    No one is going to tell me that a “a retired Northampton science teacher” can’t be ignorant of basic science.

  5. grindupbaker Says:

    They might be heavy clunky older solar panels. Some really old geezer Einstein proved that heavy things bend light. Once they get the lighter plastic Chinese solar panels from WalMart it’ll stop sucking the sunlight from the towns around.

  6. markle2k Says:

    I can’t blame a community for wanting to control its zoning for best use of land, especially fertile land. But that was some pretty wacky “reasoning”. (not safe to post without scare quotes)

  7. firstdano Says:

    Interesting that there were solar farms in the jurisdiction already and only 1 vote against. Something is going on, ignorant, ridiculous, and fearful comments from the public notwithstanding.

    Also, as is common that close to developing cities, that zoning designation is just waiting for development, so won’t remain in ag.



    • One problem we have is overpopulation. The notion that the land will likely be rezoned from Ag to Residential is a sign that population growth is expected. We should be planting crops (or better yet, carbon sinks in the form of forests) instead of building homes. We should also do everything we can to end population growth and any new construction needs to require the use of PV and/or energy-efficiency measures.

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