I sympathize with Kevin Murphy’s view (published in the Nov. 24 issue of the Warwick Advertiser) that solar panel farms like the one on Sanfordville Road are “ugly to look at.” I, too, miss the 10 acres of beautiful green grass. But I do appreciate that I can still have electricity but now without smoke stacks and huge concrete buildings like the CPV plant on Route 6 in Wawayanda – that, too, was once a site of natural beauty and now it is a site that threatens the air we breathe and has already destroyed micro ecosystems that contribute to all of our well being without the 24/7 noise pollution of the compressor station in the midst of homes in Minisink.
With solar and wind farms, I can have electricity without the 24/7 noise pollution of compressor stations like the one in the midst of homes in Minisink; without the threat of pipelines leaking into my water supply and into the soil needed to grow the food I eat. No need to remove the tops of mountains or create slag piles or fracking ponds full of chemicals the ill effects of which are seriously coming home to roost for our Pennsylvania neighbors who allowed fracking on their land.
So, I am training myself to see beauty when I see a solar farm and to appreciate the efforts to shield them with an array of trees. I see beauty in the graceful movement of the wind turbines and appreciate the efforts to lessen their impact on wildlife, so that I can continue to have the convenience of electricity. If I want to lessen the impact of solar and wind farms, I can improve my energy efficiency for starters. Is my home sufficiently insulated? Have I had a home energy audit and remediated the areas where energy is wasted? Have we put solar panels on the roofs of all the buildings with the right orientation in our community?
That might lessen the need to build arrays on beautiful green grassy fields. To Ben Stanley whose letter (published in the Nov. 24 issue of the Warwick Advertiser) refers us to gas company websites for validation of the claims that natural gas is clean energy, I say, Ben, I do not expect that the gas companies are going to lay out for us how dirty fracked gas production is; indeed, when production gasses are factored in, natural gas is dirtier even than coal. Citation: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/coal-and-other-fossil-fuels/environmental-impacts-of-natural-gas#.WhwQMLQ-eSM.
For information on free or low cost home energy audits in NYS, go to https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/Home-Performance-With-ENERGY-STAR or locally, http://sustainablewarwick.org/energize-warwick.
Thank you to our school district and to our Town for all the efforts to protect our water, air, quality of life with clean energy sources.