Do IRBs make sense for intermediate and large solar farms?

Dear editor,

My family has been in May’s Lick for many generations. I live on my family farm, and I love living in the countryside, and in Mason County. There have been some recent editorials and opinions on social media on Solar Power that are disheartening. This community has to continue to thrive, grow and prosper. We have lost so much industry, retail and people, and without a strategy for growth, we will continue to decline.

Every person in the United States is entitled, by our constitution, to freedom of speech, the pursuit of happiness and as a democratic nation to earn income. That is why our nation looks so good to people living outside our borders.

A new utility has become interested in our area. -“Solar” – It will help generate new revenue for the county and the state. The revenue projected by the PVA is quite substantial. I urge fellow readers to get educated about solar and what it can do for our community. A local citizen and neighbor has started a website called Please go see the extraordinary amount of information available on solar from all over the United States. He’s done a great job pulling together a lot in one website.

My family and I, as landowners, plan to lease our land for farming the sun. It’s our property, it’s our pursuit, and WE are free to make choices that benefit us. We are not opposed to some logical and reasonable regulation that protects my fellow neighbors as long as it doesn’t kill the project.

Our choice also benefits the county.

Our land under our ownership is not farmable by me, and my grandfather told me, “Don’t ever let go of the land.” It is our most valuable asset. We are leasing it. We are not going to let go of it. The land will still be here after the lease ends; it will still be useable. We can use what the lessee’s are not using for agricultural purposes.

We will make some profit; we won’t get rich, but we will also help our county prosper. We see this as a good thing, and we think it’s shamefully selfish of people who try to scare people with words like “you lose control”, it’s catastrophic, and it’s apocalyptic. It’s none of those things. These people try to instill distrust and fear into a project that can really help us improve our county, and do you want to know why? Because they do not want to look at the panels.

Just to give everyone a little education, I want to provide a few facts,

— The estimated 10,000 acres “proposed” by multiple companies is less than 5 percent of the total farmable land in Mason County.

— The companies who have committed to lease the land, have not made a decision on whether it will be a solar farm. There are many things they have to research first. Some of that research is going on now, but much of it is still to come.

— Most people will not see the solar panels. You’ll have to drive to look for those panels, and on my farm, unless you are standing behind my house, you probably won’t see them.

— Those people sounding the alarm are bringing fear to people who really do not know anything about solar.

— There are many scholarly articles on the safety of the panels today; for those who continue to incite fear, a lot has changed since 1975. There are articles on the regulation under the EPA, additionally the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate solar energy.

—There are also many independent research projects by recognized and accredited universities describing safety around disposal of the panels after they have reached their use limits. I would ask people to read this information before believing the “scary” statements that create confusion.

— The sky is not falling.

— The world is not flat.

There may be a few in this country who want “less” energy, however, the vast majority will want and need more. (The population continues to grow, the need for energy will continue to grow.)

We are taking advantage of the opportunity to supply the demand to help provide energy. If we choose to lease our land, and it can help harvest that energy it’s our right under the law to pursue it. My grandfather farmed my land, my Dad still farms the land, but we have to run it like a business to survive today. Gone is the profit from Dairy, tobacco and some other crops. Do the readers realize the government pays farmers not to grow crops? Our pursuit is to keep the farm useable and in the family, for generations to come.

When fossil fuels are reduced again and companies need energy, we want Mason County to be there to meet the demand, and benefit from the revenue and the energy solar will provide.

Mary Plamber

May’s Lick

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