Going green when it comes to producing electricity seems like a good idea, but what about when it's covering green in the process?
Some residents in Spencer are fed up with solar power developers gobbling up farmland.
Bill Dobson isn't against solar panels, by any means. In fact, he's saving thousands of dollars a year after installing panels in his backyard. But he is opposed to a proposed solar farm right across the street that would bury up to 100 acres of farmland under darkened glass.
"There are certain places that are good for solar panels like landfills and roadsides... But in this case we're talking prime farmland," said Dobson.
Opposition to the proposed solar farm triggered a citizen's petition in Spencer and a vigorous thread on Facebook. Among those commenting was Paula Orcutt, a retired veterinarian whose property abuts the proposed solar farm.
"I was a large animal veterinarian, meaning I took care of farm animals and horses. They live on hay," said Orcutt.
And hay is what will go away, she says, if the farmland grows panels.
So, what would a solar farm look like on this property? Well, picture row after row of glass panels all angled in the same direction. How do we know what it would look like? Because Spencer already has one large solar farm.
In fact, you can see that solar farm in the distance from the place the new solar farm could go.
Boston 25 News reached out to Spencer's Town Administrator for a statement:
"The parcels on McCormick Road are currently classified as Chapter 61A land and the Board of Selectmen has not formally received a notice to exercise its right-of-first refusal. The Board understands the concerns of the residents relative to new solar development in town and the desire to achieve a balance between new commercial growth and open space preservation. A public forum is being planned to give residents an opportunity express their concerns on solar development in general."
Boston 25 News put in a call to the developer of the Spencer project, Independence Solar LLC., but we did not yet hear back.
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