Stop the Fairview Solar Farm

Stop the Fairview Solar Farm

14 have signed. Let’s get to 25!
Petition to
Dr. Richard Spitzer Mayor Mike Schmidt Mayor Pro Tem Raymond Zuehlke Alderman Chuck Caniford Alderma

Why this petition matters

Started by Robin Prause

4 Common Objections to Solar Farms

Solar Farms Are Ugly. People often worry that solar farms are unattractive and that they clash with farmland and the natural landscape around them.
Farmland Is Disappearing. Many people are concerned that farmland throughout the United States is disappearing as the country becomes more urban and industrial and they think that solar farms are ...
Solar Farms Will Negatively Impact the Local Economy. Related to the objection above, there is concern that solar farms are taking farmers away from farming.
Other Misconceptions. This objection is not simply one thing, but many people don’t truly understand how a solar farm works.

Assessing potential solar farm impacts is difficult because these facilities are so new that long term effects are unknown. The other complicating factor is balancing the tremendous global benefits provided by solar energy against mostly local impacts. To make this topic even more complicated, the internet is replete with accusations of fake news regarding solar impacts and benefits. It is for these reasons that this webpage focuses on issues that are generally straight-forward and can be resolved on most sites.


Solar Farm and the View from Your Home
Because it is the most commonly cited concern, this issue is the focus of much of this webpage. The concern seems to be most common in rural areas where home owners are troubled by replacing a view of farms and forests with a mass of solar panels and the somewhat industrial feel they impart.

Noise & Glare
Both of these impacts appear to be rare occurences at solar farms.  However, those living near a Florida solar farm reported that both noise and glare were an issue.  In the following clip you can hear the noise which appeared to come from a solar inverter: Perry Solar Farm Inverter Noise.  We contacted the owner of this solar farm repeatedly in hopes of learning what caused the noise and to get it corrected.  Unfortunately, the owner never responded.


How Do Solar Farms Affect Property Value
Until recently, assessments of the effect of solar farms on residential property value had been commissioned mostly by those wishing to develop these facilities. These studies rarely noted an adverse effect of home values. This is not to say that the studies were biased. However, I suspect most would likely agree that independent research tends to be more reliable.

In September, 2020, the University of Rhode Island released Property Value Impacts of Commercial-Scale Solar Energy in Massachusetts & Rhode Island. Following are the principal conclusions from this study:

Replacing Cropfields & Forest with Solar Farms
The following issues appear common to those concerned about larger solar farms:

Loss of prime-productive farm land,
Loss of forest, and
Loss of wildlife habitat and interference with migrations.
Ideally, new solar facilities would be guided to industrial areas, abandoned mines, and other locations where impacts to neighborhoods, agriculture, and the environment would be minimal. Unfortunately, the lower land cost prompts many new solar farms to locate in rural areas.

Some jurisdictions have adopted restrictions on siting new solar farms in highly-sensitive areas or have placed a cap on the number of acres of prime-productive farmland that can be converted to solar farms. Consider the suggestions offered in Guiding Solar Farms to Low-Impact Sites above if you’re concerned about undue impacts to sensitive lands.

14 have signed. Let’s get to 25!