Letter: Reader does not support solar farm initiative in Paxville

by | October 7, 2017 4:00 am

Last Updated: October 6, 2017 at 4:04 pm

In regards to the proposed solar farm near Paxville I would agree that irresponsible speculation is not helpful to the issue. So, I spoke to officials at Duke Energy recently. They advised me that any electricity purchased from a solar farm in South Carolina that enters their power grid would then be available to their customer base, which would include North Carolina.
They knew of no regulation or law that would stipulate that the power must be used in South Carolina. However, they advised me to check with the South Carolina Public Service Commission – which I did. Officials at the Public Service Commission referred me to the Office of Regulatory Staff who confirmed to me that there is no regulation or law requiring Duke Energy to use power generated by a solar farm in this state, for customers in this state.
Of course, the people of Paxville understand the concept of solar power, along with its pros and cons, but they object to the location, right outside their back doors.
In reference to the trees and other existing natural vegetation that will obscure the solar farm from view, it must be pointed out that it is my trees and vegetation – my land and my friends and neighbors land – that will obscure the views.
Any vegetative setback included in the site plan will take years to make any effect.
Contrary to speculation or anyone else’s opinion, the value of my land to me will be diminished, if it is adjacent to a solar farm – which I consider an eyesore. The people of Paxville are my relatives and friends. I know they did not buy their homes and property as an investment – but to keep for life and pass on to their children. Property values matter little here.
It must also be pointed out that the landowner is a real estate company – Farmland Partners LLC of Colorado – not a local farmer. The solar farm developer is Strata Solar of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. They seem to be good people, but for them it is “just business.”
I wonder how many times that phrase has been used to hurt innocent people. And, I would think that it would be just speculation to suppose that they would use any local contractors or supplies at the site.
A county official speculated at a recent council meeting that the value to the county could be in the “hundreds of thousands” then walked it back to a “100 per cent increase.” I suppose that he was referring to tax value, which he put at $3,000 per year. Let’s see, a 100 per cent increase would be another $3,000.
There is a bill in the South Carolina Legislature that would grant an 80 per cent tax exemption to renewable energy resources (solar farms). I don’t think that it would be irresponsible for me to speculate that the bill will become law. If so, it would seem to me that the county may actually lose tax revenue on a solar farm.
With all these things considered, I am somewhat at a loss to understand the county’s enthusiasm and support for this project.

DAN GEDDINGS
Sumter

comments » 4

  1. Comment by TGeddings

    October 7, 2017 at 10:06

    Well said Mr. Geddings. The whole thing stinks of somebody’s pockets being lined, doesn’t it?
    i much prefer God’s natural design for our land here in Paxville, not some man’s idea of aesthetic camoflage for a flawed money making scheme. Maybe if they like the idea so well, they could build a solar farm in their own backyard. Just leave mine out of it.

  2. Comment by TGeddings

    October 7, 2017 at 10:23

    on further consideration…
    that place has traditionally been called “the camp”…referring to the seasonal movements and encampments of native americans centuries ago.
    has the possibility of a treasure trove of native american artifacts on this site been explored?

  3. Comment by Concerned citizen

    October 7, 2017 at 18:43

    If you don’t like it now wait till the government incentives run out and they stop selling power from it. Go to NC they are all over the place up there sitting not being used and have become eye sores.

  4. Comment by Patrick Wylie

    October 10, 2017 at 10:32

    One kilowatt hour crossing state lines isn’t the point. Duke credits the property owner the contracted value of that kWh as soon as it enters the grid. Electrons are dispersed grid wide instantaneously and immediately. Speed of light… If they get used locally, great, if not it means nothing. The land owner and the utility are both profiting. Which is great. To local homeowners who are connected to the grid – a kWh is a kWh is a kWh. All the time. Duke increases your rates; not local solar farms. Ever. The panels will never “leach” anything into the ground either. Ever. Warranty is 25 yrs. Useable life 40, 50, + years. They don’t really just “die” out there.
    Also, not sure of any solar farms which are fully commissioned in the state of NC that are “sitting not being used”. Just because they don’t move doesn’t mean they aren’t on. If a panel is in the sun then it’s making power. There’s on “off” switch for the panel but you can cut the current at the mandatory “DC Disconnect”.
    Not eye sores, yall! Does God’s “natural design” allow for us to grade it out as we see fit and lay roads across it? Artificially damn the rivers? Maybe… I doubt he’s going to mind this clean energy advancement though. Unless God wants us to burn coal. Maybe you, sir, can tell me what he thinks. The future (got kids?) of reliable and SECURE power grids (which will always need maintenance no matter the power source) is localized energy grids. Duke knows this and is also planning for it on elec. grids and creating their own solar arrays! Look at the 2 (TWO) Nuclear Reactors that Duke just put a complete stop to on their own and after their own due diligence. (Not even referring the Summer Plant which was SCE&G and Santee Cooper Elec owned.) I mean the Lee Plant (in SC but to serve NC) and their one in Florida too! Both halted to pivot to solar. These massive companies don’t go solar to make you or liberals feel good. Think about that. They do it because it works and it’s less expensive now and in the future. Scale this idea down to your own household. Get out from the “rent” you pay to your utility and OWN your own power like you OWN your home.
    Please call me for free site evaluations.
    Thank you.
    Patrick Wylie, Accelerate Solar, VP Sales, 803-524-5185, patrick@accelerate-solar.com

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