Supervisors should not approve solar farms in Southampton

Published 10:40 am Wednesday, September 14, 2016

To the Editor:

I am hoping the Board of Supervisors will follow the leadership of the Planning Commission and turn down solar farms in the county. The current attitude of citizens is to not speak up because no one listens or it is not in their area. Solar farms could affect us all.

If they approve these two farms, the county then cannot disapprove any other similar projects. The county attorney made that very clear — the county cannot stop any other companies from coming into the county with similar solar farm requests.

If they turn down later requests after approving the first two, the county can be sued. If these are approved, there appear to be other companies waiting in the wings to come in, possibly affecting Capron, Ivor and more.

The current solar farms want to be established along Rt. 671 between Newsoms and Boykins. This area has a sewage line that was put in, hoping for future industrial development or residential areas. This sewage line cost about $3 million.

This area is ideal for business or residential development.  It has railroad, sewage line, and good roads. Solar farms don’t need any of these resources and won’t return a dime toward these resources. Solar farms are not the best use of this land.

Farmers, business people and concerned citizens have spoken against solar farms. They feel it will have a negative effect on the county economics and its future.

Dr. Herbert Eckerlin, NC State Soil Scientist, wrote an article “Solar Farms are Overrated.” [] He stated that they have a negative effect on the state’s tax structure and its economy and that it’s time for the General Assembly to re-evaluate Senate Bill 3 and the entire solar farm program. We can’t continue down this path if we want our state and our people to prosper.

There’re many reasons not to approve. Call your BOS representative to suggest they be defeated. Come on Sept. 26 and let the BOS hear from you. The electricity produced by solar costs more than 2.5 times the cost of current sources.

Can you pay three times more for the power you use?

Glenn Updike