Solar has been growing as the best way to turn to “green” technology – and thus government support as well as promotion by the utility companies; has made the trickle of energy from this source begin to cascade into a flash flood. Wind Turbine is very limited in that it needs a steady source of air movement to become justifiable for its existence. Other forms such as geo-thermal have been plagued by their extreme cost and technical difficulties.
Unfortunately, this preeminence has lead to an irrational enthusiasm in its application. Farmland has been devoured for solar farms, and entire forests have been leveled to solve our “energy” needs. This fanatical desire to cover the earth with solar panels regardless of the environmental damage mirrors such crazy organizations like the Massachusetts Homebuilders Association that would love to coat the Commonwealth with buildings from the New York border to the Atlantic Ocean. (and do it all over again once the “planned obsolescence” of buildings demand newer buildings.)
If the Pikuls are allowed to put a large solar farm in the wet meadows of the historic Common Pasture, it will be the start of a damaging chain-reaction where regional quality of life as well as the environment (including eco-tourism) and our precious heritage tourism industry will begin to suffer. There are already at least four other solar farms in the wings yet to be permitted and they are all watching carefully what happens in the appeal that has been filed by Parker River Clean Water Association. If this project is allowed in an area vital to wildlife, such phenomena such as bird migrations can be seriously impacted. If it proceeds, it will open the gate to industrial facilities being allowed in wetland areas.
Recently the Audubon Society has added its voice to the appeal in an effort to stop the damage to our environment. The Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions has joined the appeal due to the threat to our watersheds and wetlands.
This is not about simply allowing the property owners to have an opportunity for some extra cash in their pockets. The impact to the entire region will be devastating and will undue the millions invested by local and state communities to preserve our present ecology and quality of life.
It is important that everyone in the area lend their support to this appeal. Just because this is happening on the other side of a man-made border; doesn’t mean it won’t affect everyone regionally.
Parker River Clean Water Association has hired two consultants, one locally, one with statewide experience to help with the appeal. Donations are greatly appreciated to help fund this effort by sending them to PO Box 798, Byfield, MA 01922. Direct them to PRCWA Solar Appeal. If you have any inquiries or feel you can help in anyway, please contact Marlene Schroeder, vice-president of the association at 978.462.9062 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The communities of Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley and West Newbury all have a vested interest in preventing this otherwise beneficial solar farm from being placed in the wrong place and threatening us all.