Sidebar 2: OFA wants solar on buildings, not farmland

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is clear about where electricity-producing photovoltaic solar panels should go. They should be on top of urban buildings where the population using power is concentrated, not on prime farmland.

“I think the big concern with solar would be that you take the land out of production,” says OFA senior policy researcher Peter Jeffrey.

OFA researcher Ted Cowan, who is based in North York, argues that it would be very difficult to recover land which had been baked under solar panels for 20 to 40 years. “Below the panel, you get a tremendous buildup of heat,” he says. “It will dry out that area and it is going to get a different kind of weed growing there.”

Better Farming - April 2009