As I watched the trees being torn out of the ground on Palmer Circle, where I live, I got to thinking about how did we got here. This solar farm mess.
The residents who live in the 64 condos and five homes on Palmer Circle are the unfortunate ones. The land on Palmer Circle doesn’t need a zoning change. The zoning was changed back in the 1980s from residential to commercial when Foxwoods was thinking of building a hotel. The hotel was never built and the zoning remained commercial.
Commercial is the magic word to build these solar farms. No vote needed, just build it. Don’t worry about the aquifer, it’s all okay. Run off? We got it covered.
Property values? Everyone loves solar.
The incentives from the federal and state government have developers from all over the country eyeing Rhode Island land so they can build these energy-producing giants. Yes, removing trees and replacing them with metal panels is green technology.
How did we get here? My guess is the projects that were not approved in years past and the school budget, which cripples cities and towns in Rhode Island to the point where they are approving these eye candy solar projects. We must fund the school budget regardless of the irreversible consequences to the land.
While the pundits go back-and-forth fighting about zoning changes, we are here learning to live with our new metal neighbors. Get ready!
There’s a solar farm coming to a neighborhood near you.