As Demand for Inexperienced Power Grows, Photo voltaic Farms Face Native Resistance



“Ours is a small city and everyone knows each other and our efforts aren’t towards our neighbors,” mentioned Will Mayer, the chief director of the Clark Coalition, the opposition group. He added that the mission may eclipse agricultural use of the area, which has already misplaced acreage due to different kinds of growth.One of many tasks is backed by Swift Present, which is proposing a 1,200-acre photo voltaic farm there. The corporate has been working with residents to deal with their considerations, mentioned Mr. Birchby, who added that the mission would have “minimal” affect on their view.“We wish to ensure that any mission that we’re growing generally is a good long-term neighbor and member of the group,” he mentioned.The opposite mission in Clark County is being developed by Geenex Photo voltaic and EDF Renewables. Each firms declined to reveal particulars, however Kara W. Value, the senior vice chairman for allowing and growth at Geenex, mentioned in an electronic mail that when the 2 firms “are able to current our potential mission to Clark County officers and the group, it will likely be completed in a really public method and can present a number of alternatives for dialogue and enter.”Due to public considerations, the native authorities in late summer season denied permits for each tasks till a complete plan might be made, mentioned Robert Jeffries, the planning and group growth director for Winchester, Ky., the most important municipality in Clark County, which has jurisdiction over land use.To handle residents’ considerations, some builders are including screens to keep away from obstructing views and are contributing to group causes to be good neighbors. Others try to create pollinator habitats in and across the panels, and a few are creating appropriate areas for grazing.One other resolution for builders is agrivoltaics, a know-how that permits land for use for each farming and solar energy. Already in restricted use in Europe, together with in some French vineyards, agrivoltaics are being examined in the US by builders like BlueWave Photo voltaic, a start-up in Boston that has put its raised panels to make use of in Grafton, Mass., and is about to start out a pilot program in Maine to boost blueberry manufacturing, mentioned John DeVillars, co-founder and chairman of BlueWave.