Solar Farm to be Built on Prime Agricultural Lands?

January 30, 2010 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment

There is an open house set for this coming Wednesday in Belmont, and neighbours near the proposed site fear prime farmland will be lost.

Neighbours of a proposed solar farm just east of London are gearing up for a red-hot public meeting about the project Wednesday in Belmont.

The First Solar Canada farm would have as many as 330,000 panels converting energy from the sun into enough electricity to power 3,000 homes.

But some neighbours say it may be the right project in the wrong location. Barry Weaver, whose farm abuts the property, said productive land would be lost to farming for years. “The part that ticks me right off about it is it’s prime agricultural land,” he said. “I’m not in argument with building solar panels and wind farms, but they should be in their proper places.”

Peter Carrie, vice-president of the company, said Wednesday’s open house is not intended to be a company presentation but is designed so neighbours can ask questions of staff in a less formal setting. Carrie said the flyer neighbours sent out to 1,200 homes raises “a number of good questions and issues” — and those that aren’t already answered in the project report or in the supporting documents will be covered at the meeting and in greater detail in a subsequent report.

But the biggest question, some say, is whether the application falls under old provincial energy policies or under newer ones that suggest agricultural lands shouldn’t be taken out of production for renewable energy projects.

Source: LFPress.com

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