One of my previous posts discussed the potential of solar power gaining more popularity over wind power. Solar power has the ability to provide renewable energy, and a recent argument was that it would be more aesthetically pleasing to those who live in the area.
However, some residents in Eastern Ontario feel that the development of solar farms is a misuse of prime agricultural land. A site for the development of a solar farm has been vandalized and slogans have been painted saying “solar not on prime farm land” on the barn roof. This East Hawkesbury site had been approved for the development under the Ontario Power Authority’s former energy standard offer program. The proposal for development has gone through all the appropriate government approvals and was slated to begin development. However the vandalism events have slowed down the process. The farm house on the land was to be sold and moved, but with the damages resulting to $25,000 the house can no longer be sold.
This is very disheartening to see that some residents feel very strongly against the development of green energy projects. But at the same time, prime agricultural land is hard to come by, and is being lost due to other things such as housing developments and the encroachment of urban areas. Since my last post about solar farms on agricultural land, the government of Ontario did pass legislation that solar farms would be banned from farmland, however the development strategy of this site was established before the legislation was passed. The fate of this site is unknown, and further development could create more risk and damage to equipment if the vandals strike again.