Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sites best suited for clean energy projects

Common sense as well as the real energy experts agree, agricultural land is not considered within the category of  "sites best suited for clean energy projects". In addition to not being located in a properly zoned site, there are several other reasons to oppose the Paduch Bog Solar Array in Carver.

According to The Commonwealth's Sustainable Development Principles, the town of Carver has failed to uphold Principle #4 in approving this project. The Paduch Bog project involves solar panels to be built on top of a cranberry bog, located in an agricultural zone.

Principle #4: Protect Land and Ecosystems- Protect and restore environmentally sensitive lands, natural resources, agricultural lands, critical habitats, wetlands and water resources, and cultural and historic landscapes.

It's clear that the town of Carver (and it's renewable energy consultant) will not "protect land and ecosystems" when it comes to it's rush to become the Solar capital of New England.

One of the purposes of the Carver Wetlands Protection Bylaw is "to preserve agriculture and aesthetics". By allowing large solar arrays to be built on top of a cranberry bog, the town will allow them to completely destroy the natural beauty and aesthetics of the bog.

According to Massachusetts guidelines, the town of Carver has completely failed the residents of Carver by approving this project. The boards, consultants, and lawyers (that we fund) should have recommended a particularly appropriate state program as an alternative to the owners of this bog. It's called the Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program (APR)

The primary purpose of the APR program is to preserve and protect agricultural land, including designated farmland soils, which are a finite natural resource, from being built upon for non-agricultural purposes or used for any activity detrimental to agriculture and to maintain APR land values at a level that can be supported by the land’s agricultural uses and potential.

It appears that many of the town officials do not want to protect our bogs "from being built upon for non-agricultural purposes"! Again we point out a service that is provided by the Massachusetts “Clean Energy Results Program.” This program offers the following service:

 - Assess sites best suited for clean energy projects, like closed landfills, brownfields and existing drinking water and wastewater treatment plants.

We support fiscally responsible solar projects that are proposed for "sites best suited for clean energy". Sites like the closed Ravenbrook Landfill in Carver. We also support private businesses who desire to become self sufficient, and to lower their carbon footprint, like the Edgewood Bogs LLC of Carver

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