Southampton won’t benefit from solar power

Published 10:24 am Monday, February 20, 2017

To the Editor:

Soon Southampton County will be home to the largest solar power project in the state of Virginia. The project will create an energy output of 100 M/W. Of course this solar project comes with a price. The price is a large section of land. Over 1,000 acres of productive farmland will be covered by these solar panels. This farmland has produced corn, peanut, cotton and soybean crops for many years. No more.

This land was cleared by our ancestors, slave and non-slave. They had no chainsaws or bulldozers. Hard labor was the description of that endeavor. Never mention world hunger again.

Lines from a [Joni Mitchell] song: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Now we can say they took paradise and built a solar panel lot.

Why put the project in Southampton? Why not Loudon or Prince William? Maybe it’s because our land is cheaper. Watch out, Greensville or Sussex counties. Will Southampton citizens benefit from this project? They will not because the benefit goes elsewhere. Don’t let this happen to you.

Also, in this area of Southeastern Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina, we see thousands of acres of woodlands being leveled. Some of the trees are turned into wood pellets to fuel [the] generation of electricity. So trees that produce oxygen and absorb CO2 are being sacrificed. All of this is environmental foolishness.

Richard Dickerson