The people's voice of reason

Montgomery County Commission to vote on massive solar farm on Wednesday on Tuesday

On Tuesday the Montgomery County Commission will consider a proposal by a multi-national corporate conglomerate to turn thousands of acres of south Montgomery farmland into a massive solar farm.

Local residents of the Snowden community are so concerned with this project that they held a community meeting to voice their concerns last week.

There were concerns that the massive development will be unsightly, will lower property values, and will come with environmental consequences for the community.

Solar is being pushed by President Joseph R. Biden (D) and his Environmental Protection Agency as the administration is waging a war on coal, oil, and natural gas generated power plants. One nuclear power plant can produce more power than a dozen solar plants without tying up thousands of acres of productive farmland and wildlife habitat. Additionally, nuclear power (like coal, gas, or oil) is far more reliable given that it can operate 24 hours a day seven days a week and is not vulnerable to bad weather like wind and solar is.

Supporters of solar says that solar energy is a clean energy source and its impact on air quality and climate change is significantly lower than any other traditional power generation system. They claim that can assist in eliminating numerous environmental issues that result from utilizing fossil fuels. PV systems have zero emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides producing power without adding to global warming.

To celebrate Earth Day 2024, President Biden traveled to Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, VA, a national park system site developed by FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps, to announce $7 billion in awards through EPA's Solar for All program and unveil major steps to advance the American Climate Corps.

County Commission Chairman Doug Singleton told the crowd that the commission has limited power in this development, but said that he agrees with many of their concerns.

"I'm against it 100%. 100% against it," Singleton said. "I cannot stop it, but I'm definitely against it."

The more than 280,000 solar panels will produce enough power to power perhaps 20,000 homes.

Neighbors argue that the facility will generate glare and that cleaning the hundreds of thousands of solar panels will produce a strain on the area's water resources.

Multinational conglomerate Lightsource BP has already built a $100 million solar facility in south Montgomery County. That facility opened recently and was welcomed by county officials.

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