Farmers rally to oppose solar power on prime farmland

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St Eugene farmer Shawn Wylie addresses crowd



Wake-up Ontario!!!

Born and bred a farmer, I understand the concerns of the citizens of Hawkesbury.
We too, are proposing a solar farm in Ottawa, simply because it is time to clean up our act.
Does it not make sense to harness the sun in the field, rather than haul the corn to the local ethanol plant, and turn it into fuel?
The farmer next to my land also complains of not wanting to use "good farm land" for renewable energies, as he would rather drive his tractors up and down the field, then his combines and cultivators, and then his big fuel hungry trucks to haul it all to the ethanol plant, where it in turn gets turned into fuel--instead of converting it into power right in the field...think about it!!
Tired of smog,

Sorry Matt. The solar farm would pay very little property taxes because of provincial rules, create few if any jobs, bury good farmland,and be an eyesore. Think of a giant glass parasite sucking away your property value. Local dairy farmers also have concerns about "stray voltage" which is a modern day plague to dairy farmers.
Dr. Sandal-burner

Dr. Sandal-burner. The solar projects will pay the same tax, or even a little more, than the local farmers. No, they are not an eyesore, they are actually quite eye pleasing if you have actually seen one. They will not suck up farmland, they will harvest "renewable" crop, and still be able to be 'plucked' out of the field at the end of their life cycles. Solar farms do not create stray voltage, and are able to be controlled by the local utility to ensure so. Matt.

Well, according to the Mayor of East Hawkesbury, this solar plant will only contribute 6000 dollars in tax revenue to the Township, which is significantly less than many homeowners along the Ottawa River pay. Add to the fact that local taxes will skyrocket due to the fact that this company has purchased the land for 6800 dollars an acre, more than double the going rate for land in the same area. 15 foot high concrete pillars covered in black glass is not eye pleasing.

There will not be 15 foot high concrete pillars, look yourself at photos of these things in Europe. Put the fear and NIMBYism aside and really examine how these things work.

I challenge anyone to find a single case instance from Germany or the rest of Europe where a solar farm has precluded the use of the land for agriculture.

If you like them so much, you come and live here with them no more than 50 feet from your front door. And while your at it, try doing some actually physical work to make an honest living instead of living off of those of us who do.

I'm putting 10kW of the things onto my barn roof and plan on putting more on my land this summer. BTW I do all the work myself, including running my farm, and an engineering consulting business.

Your arguments are clearly self serving NIMBYism and have degraded to character attacks when you know nothing about me.

If you were a good farmer you wouldn't need two jobs. How much money is enough? If your cows all get sick from stray voltage, don't come crying to me.

There is a proposal to have one here 50 feet from our front door and I feel the same way. Ironically the property owner around us had buffered himself from the eyesore by keeping 25 acres around himself so it is not near his house.

According to a well respected Realtor, with over 40 years experience, local property values, at the time of sale, will be at least 25% lower. At the same time, the same properties will have their tax rate go up, as a result of the solar company paying more than double the market value for land in the area.

Stray voltage is more an issue with differences in grounding. A solar park of this size would generate power using 3 phase and not really involve ground.

While these solar plants are common in Europe, stray voltage is non existant, mainly because of the way the Hydro system is configured - different from that in North America. Current can run through the ground (ground as in soil, not a wire) All we have to do is look at the case of an old order Mennonite farm that was the victim of stray voltage. (old order mennonites have NO electrical lines entering their properties)

A true farmer would never allow his land to be industrialized. There are poorer classes of land available, which would not support productive crop growth. Where are we supposed to grow food to eat? On roof tops? There are alternatives available, these solar companies are just looking to make a quick and easy buck without having to work for an honest living. A real farmer knows the value of an honest days work. Just think of how your grandfather and his father would feel if he saw the land he worked so had to clear and turn into a productive farm, was now being industrialized and covered in concrete and steel.

do you grow food or do you buy it? hmmm...

It has to be grown somewhere. Can't grow it on asphalt on on the store shelves.

Done correctly, the land can still be used for agricultural use. Its just a matter of elevating the panels a bit higher. The land could be used for pasture or no till crops. Just look to Europe for examples.

How much pollution is created making these panels? The silicone is the most widely used material in PV panels. Silane gas is used to apply silicon thin films and make silicon crystal semiconductors. Health hazards include breathing, skin, and eye irritation. Silane gas is extremely explosive, at room temperature it spontaneously combusts.

Other chemicals used in PV panel production:
phosphine, polyvinyl fluoride, selenium, cadmium, nitric acid, lead, and the list goes on.

All solar energy is doing is making a few local people feel green, while harming the environment wherever these panels are being manufactured.

Why don't we try to clean up the current polluting industries, rather than put band aids in the form of solar panels on.

well lets at least compare apples to apples. How much pollution is created making the tractors, the combines, the fuel, the fuel trucks, the corn dryers, the propane tanks etc. verses making panels??

Yes, there is pollution making anything, but solar panels can harvest renewable crop over and over and over again without on-going pollution!! Try to imagine how wonderful that is!!

Not all panels are created equally. There are commercially available panels out there, for example UMG silicon panels that are use a relatively much smaller foot print energy wise than some others, and the process is non toxic.
Most panel manufactures are extremely vigilant by building in reclamation costs into the upfront price of the panels.

I would like to see dairy farmers exercise the same vigilance in protecting the water table from e. coli.

Hawkesbury farmers should realize that this is helping to open the door to them connecting their own biomass (and solar) operations.


Sorry Dan. It will be difficult, if not impossible, for local farmers to connect their own farm generated electrical production if they choose to do so, because the local transformer station capacity will be used up by the proposed new operation.

Not true, Solaris has freed up 5mW of space, plenty for everyone. Their presence will 'drive' the progression of the grid in the area to support embedded generation for everyone.


Solaris has not freed up anything. At the public meeting last winter they said Hydro one cut them back from 35 to 30 MW, BEFORE they even knew about farmers wanting to connect to the grid.

Hawkesbury farmers are already selling their power at 11c/kwh, no door left to open. Solar plants get 42c/kwh.

the 42c/kwh is relevant to the costs. It will cost that much to install the panels. It is not a get rich quick scheme but simply a cleaner, greener energy

IF there is no profit to be made, why is the solar company that wants to build in East Hawkesbury paying $6800 per acre. The going rate for similar land is $3000/acre? There must be money to be made somewhere if they are paying their father in law more than double the going market value for his land.

Of course there's profit to be made, just like there is in farming, or clear cutting land into farmland. There is nothing wrong with the profit motive provided things are done in such a way as to address everyone's concern. This NIMBYism is driven largely in part by a fear of decreased property values, which corrrect me if I am wrong is the profit motive.

Why should our farms, which have been in our family's for over 100 years be devalued because a bunch of tree huggers want to come in and make a killing while lining their pockets as well as that of their father in law.

For the same reason that your family was allowed to establish and continue farming there. Your interests are clearly self-serving. NIMBYism.

I think it is completely rediculous that tree huggers are being allowed to ruin local farms by setting up their solar pannels. Put these in cities that are already astherically ugly and have already ruined the land. I can not believe this project is going through.

BTW, it's East Hawkesbury township, not the Town of Hawkesbury, therefore, East Hawkesbury farmers. The town of Hawkesbury is more than welcome to take said solar farm.

Let's all get involved, and get rid of oil!!

Clean, renewable energy instead of oil or gas burning furnaces, hot water tanks, cars, etc.

If we all do a little something now to pitch in, we, and future generations, can look forward to a clean, energy independent country!

It's almost too good to be true!!

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