Solar farm a great opportunity

EDITOR:

The proposed solar farm in Escanaba Township is a great opportunity to take a step forward towards clean, cheap, renewable energy. There are people in the “community” making blatant attempts to spread misinformation and fear in order to fit their agenda. The proposed solar farm will be less than 900 acres located within the township. The company proposing the solar farm has been open to questions/concerns and has been more than willing to make any necessary adjustments to the plan to address valid concerns.

The “noise” from the solar farm will be far less than 45 decibels, as stated in the application. This quiet hum will be in specific isolated areas and only run during the day, not at night. 45 decibels is the volume of a quiet rural area during the daytime.

The herbicides that opponents are trying to say will destroy their water will be a fraction of the thousands of gallons of Roundup currently sprayed on those fields every year. Mowing will be employed to keep herbicide use limited. Pollinator plants will be used throughout the entire project, which will provide a habitat for butterflies and bees, which are in population decline. This in turn benefits the surrounding farmland production. Not to mention the reduction in storm water runoff and improved soil condition. This improved soil would then be returned back to the owner, as specified in contracts and included in the proposed township ordinance.

The panels used will be less than 10 feet tall, much lower than the proposed 16 foot limit in the pending township ordinance. The setbacks from roads and homes are proposed to be 250 feet and the company is willing to work with the people of the township to increase those numbers if necessary. They are also willing to work on reducing the impact on animal trails.

This project will bring over $10 million in property taxes to Escanaba Township over 25 years, as well as millions more to Gladstone High School, Bay College, the road patrol, 911 authority, etc. Not to mention a steady income for the landowners who have said yes to this opportunity, many of whom are farmers who have had their income drop in recent years. It is truly incredible to see a “community” turn its back on the farmers and hard working landowners who have spent their lives providing this “scenic view” for little return.

Take the time to do research, ask the appropriate people questions, and look at the actual facts first. These are all facts. Easily found on Escanaba Township’s website or by contacting Orion Renewable Energy.

Ashley Wagner

Cornell