Letter: Reader does not support solar farm initiative in Paxville
by Submitted by Reader | 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.