Protect Gloucester's Watershed and Land.

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Solar Corporation Expansion in Gloucester has Many Risks

Solar Corporations have targeted prime Gloucester farm land to host their business deals. A Conditional Use Permit signed by the land owner or the solar company is needed to allow thousands of solar panels to be placed on private property.  The land owners are compensated financially, with the leasing contract lasting 25/45+ years.  Some land is contracted for lease, some for lease to purchase. 

Are these Solar Corporations here to help Gloucester, or help their business?  Here are some important facts, you decide.

  1. The Solar energy generated does not necessarily stay in Gloucester, being sent to counties that may not have solar panels, but need the energy.
  2. Solar panels are made of toxic materials, such as lead, as well as materials such as glass and plastic that Gloucester does not currently accept at the land fill. There is no plan in place to address these Toxic and Waste materials, at this writing, nor in 2040/45, when the panels cease to work.  After leasing the property, the parent solar company often subdivides into smaller LLC companies.  Any one of these LLCs can go bankrupt at any time, thus walking away and leaving the decommissioning (clean up) to the land owner and county, but ultimately the land owner, according to Gloucester County. 
  3. 100% of Gloucester is a watershed to the many rivers and bays that surround our county.  Gloucester citizens have worked hard to protect our shore lines, grasses, shell fish, aquatic life and our way of life.  The run-off from thousands of panels over 20-50 years, plus any damage from severe weather such as north easterners, hail, and tornados has an unfortunate side effect of adding toxins to our water ways, and all the land between the panels and the water ways.  Add that to the unnatural change to the land terrain, designed for panel placement, and generations of locals will be affected.
  4. Solar panels have a high probability of depreciating surrounding property, due to unsightly window view, and a concern for water safety and availability.  Large solar construction uses massive amounts of water,  historically requiring new wells to be drilled on site. Because of that, water aquifers could be permanently damaged, having unknown long term effects on neighboring wells.
  5. And let’s remember our love for hunting the wildlife, like deer, wild turkeys, and rabbits, and our love for watching the wildlife,  like eagles, osprey, otters, and beavers.  These animals must live with our decisions.  We have an obligation to keep their habitat healthy, which keeps us healthy.
  6. Our past efforts of protecting shorelines, restricting fishing/oystering practices, monitoring septic placement and many other efforts would be undermined by current  Solar Corporate Practices.  Let's say NO for Now until more research, studies and long term effects are known.  As citizens, we have all had to sacrifice some of our land use rights to protect our unique County of Gloucester.  Let's protect those past decisions, for the good of our future.

If you feel Gloucester should say NO for Now to all current and future Solar Corporations wanting to put panels on choice land, or any land, please sign this petition now, giving our leaders your voice to make decisions.  Until these long range consequences are addressed, say NO for Now.