We are your good Posey County neighbors, homeowners, and non-participating landowners who together want to help save our community by preserving prime agricultural farmland and not building Industrial Solar Power Plants that will cover thousands of acres. We do not want them built near our homes, schools, and public gathering areas.
We absolutely support affordable, clean, smart renewable energy to benefit our county, state, and country. But it needs to be thoughtfully planned and responsibly built. There are many promises being made by solar developers in Posey County (there are at least THREE separate solar developers currently pursuing land leases in different areas of the county), so we have been gathering information to help educate our community. There are two sides to every story.
Renewable options such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric should be developed in areas that would not impact non-participating homeowners or remove prime farmland from production which would negatively impact our ability to grow food for the world. There are many open areas that receive more sun and wind, but billion-dollar companies are looking for the cheapest, quickest way to meet their renewable energy goals, which will in turn almost certainly raise electric rates for consumers.
Here’s the timeline:
Late December 2020, some of the residents received a letter from Tenaska the solar power company, informing them of the proposed industrial solar power plant that “could be” neighboring their property. The 12′ high solar panel plants would be within 100′ feet of most resident’s property line. Creating an industrial wall of solar panels surrounding people’s homes on what is now, beautiful agricultural land.
It is our understanding that the solar power company reached out to landowners more than a year ago inquiring about leasing. 50% of the landowners (owning farming acreage) that will lease, do not live in this area.
CenterPoint Energy will be looking to purchase the project after Tenaska builds it. Having Solar Power Plants WILL NOT DECREASE YOUR ELECTRIC BILL. They are going to have to pay for this acquisition somewhere … think about it!
As this is a decision that would forever change Posey County, our quality of life, and increase the likelihood for an influx of additional wind and solar projects, we ask that you consider the following reasons as to why Posey County should say no to this property tax abatement. Our elected officials have asked for public input, so we urge you to write, call or email your commissioner to let them know how you feel about this issue.
In addition, the negative impacts on the land are long-lasting. These solar project areas will be clear cut of all native trees and other vegetation. For the following 35 to 50 years, this area will be maintained to minimize the growth of vegetation. Native habitat will be destroyed for deer, turkey, dove, quail, and all other forms of native wildlife and will force the wildlife off this land, thus increasing competition in surrounding areas for already scarce life-sustaining resources. These panels do catch fire and the hazards they create are more than our Marrs Township Fire Dept can handle without given the proper resources to fight a fire of that magnitude. The winged population is also known to be negatively impacted by solar farms and as we know, Posey County is a flyway for many species.
Let us not forget that there will be innocent non-participating landowners who will be harmed. While there are approximately 60 landowners that would benefit financially, there are a106 nearby landowners that would be negatively impacted. Some landowners who stand to benefit have stated “it’s our land and we have the right to do with it as we see fit”. While that is true, our county is responsible to protect each individual’s right to use and develop his or her property in any way that doesn’t cause a nuisance or harm the neighbors. It is believed these projects do cause harm by loss of property values, marketability, and enjoyment and are therefore certainly a nuisance.
Many of these residents are raising their families and upgrading their forever homes, will now be facing: reduced property value, increased property taxes, the potential threat of fire, increased home fire insurance, living in an industrial field … would you want it to be you? Because it could happen.