Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:31 pm Post subject: Solar Farms - a waste of agricultural land?
The township that I live in is debating about a solar farm being put on class 1 agricultural land.
Local News article: Speed of Green Act raises concerns at county
"We have to be particular about where we put them. We should protect Class 1, 2 and 3 agricultural land. Do we want to have air conditioning or do we want to eat?"
Solar hydro generation is a very expensive form of hydro in our northern and cloudy Ontario climate, with costs at 40-60 cents per kWh compared to 5.5 cents per kWh from nuclear and traditional power sources.
Also if you take the solar power data posted on an environmental website "Tree Hugger.com" where a 900 acre solar farm near Sarina will supply energy to about 6000 homes the result is one acre of land per 6.6 homes.
One acre of land required to supply hydro to 6.6 homes is a MASSIVE waste of good agricultural land, the land required to supply hydro to those homes is most likely larger then the size of the lot that the home receiving the hydro is sitting upon.
Solar farms are very expensive, a huge waste of good agricultural land, and are basically only a political tool for the McGuinty Liberals to be able to say to the public that they have solar hydro generation in Ontario.
My neighbours and myself would appreciate any thoughts on solar farms in Canada.
Class 1 land is desirable for the solar farm for most of the same reasons it's desirable as farm land... level, easy to access, stable, suitable environment, etc...
There's enough non-arable land which could be used for solar that there's really no need to infringe on agricultural lands. If it's a bit harder to access, boo hoo for the companies doing the installation. Too much agricultural lands are already threatened by urban sprawl. The last thing we need is solar energy pushing urban sprawl even further!!
Solar farms can be a good idea, where there is lots of average daily sunshine year round; like Arizona, or Nevada, or New Mexico. As for northern Ontario, probably not a good location. But, since many of the Conservatives around here seem to spend more time agreeing with the other side than with their erstwhile ideological companions, I say go for it.
It being the day after Lenin's birthday, and artificial famine being one of his weapons of choice, this seems perfectly logical.
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