Solar Receives Cold Shoulder from Scott County Planning and Zoning Commission
The Scott County’s Planning and Zoning Commission had a somewhat negative response to the initial discussion of solar farms at their recent meeting. However, they did indicate a willingness to gather more input. While there may be some legitimate concerns about solar farms, I think there are also some misconceptions.
Solar is a cheaper energy source than fossil fuels and releases no atmospheric emissions. It can offer continuous energy when combined with wind and hydro-electric, and there are developments in storage battery systems. Many farms combine solar arrays with native prairie that supports endangered pollinator species, and rebuilds soil naturally. When built on less-productive land, or land prone to drought, it can also provide farmers with a more reliable source of income.
Solar requires a high up-front investment, but there are tax incentives, and minimal maintenance for panels that are guaranteed for 20-25 years. Renewable energy is also the fastest growing job sector, nationwide—plus these are good-paying jobs. Building solar installations can be good for the local economy.
Scott County residents can strongly encourage their commissioners to gather more input and look at how this could benefit local farmers and the community. You can also attend meetings virtually. Call 563-326-8632 by noon of the meeting date to verify meeting time and location.