As Solar Scales Up, Development Controversies Follow

Utility-scale solar is increasingly looking east to develop new facilities and encountering a common form of resistance from local communities.

1 minute read

November 3, 2021, 8:00 AM PDT

By Planetizen


Solar and Wind Energy

Soonthorn Wongsaita / Shutterstock

Ellen Rosen reports for The New York Times on the increasingly common resistance by local stakeholders to the siting and development of solar power facilities, citing the example of Hecate Energy, which cut back plans to build a 500-acre solar energy facility in Copake, New York after outcry front he community.

Here's how Rosen summarizes the local example and its relevance to national trends:

The Copake fight mirrors similar battles raging across the country in rural areas like Lake County, Ore.; Clinton County, Ohio; and Troy, Texas. Developers say industrial-scale solar farms are needed to meet the nation’s goals to mitigate the rise of climate change, but locals are fighting back against what they see as an encroachment on their pastoral settings, the loss of agricultural land and a decline in property values.

According to Rosen, solar facilities were formerly more common in the U.S. West, but that is changing as governments at various levels push for more renewable energy and large corporations, like Amazon and Microsoft, move toward renewable energy to reduce their corporate carbon footprints. The source article includes more of the regulatory context, as well as the political considerations of renewable energy development.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 in The New York Times

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