A bright idea

Well, to no one’s surprise, the once-dead zoning proposal was revived and passed and the wind turbine company pulled out of this area. But that’s a story for another day.

Included in the zoning regulations were four pages of microscopic type that outlined the regulations concerned with building solar “farms.”

These regulations were included to be prepared for companies wanting to convert prime producing farmland into huge tracts of land covered with solar panels and surrounded with fencing.

Now that wind energy will not be threatening the health, safety or spoiling the pristine rural views another “green” energy concept is waiting to gobble up privately owned land to generate electrical power, either for their own use or to resell it back onto the nationwide power grid.

While solar panels are more benign aesthetically speaking, they do produce local feuds between environmentalists and developers, most who only see dollar signs and tax benefits.

What we need here, in my opinion, is a way to generate clean consistent energy from multiple sources. My win-win solution would be to encourage locations and businesses that have already converted the land to cover that land with solar panels.

My prime example of win-win would be Toyota’s new car staging area. If that massive area were covered with solar panels it could protect new vehicles from hail damage, snow, pollution and heat. If the employee parking lots were also covered there could be a substantial return on investment in a relatively short time.

Other areas to consider covering would be WalMart, Menards, high schools, shopping malls, strip mines, etc.

My hope in writing this letter is that some serious thought be given to a time in the near future when the population will be larger and the availability of good flat farmland is diminished. I won’t see that time but millions of unborn will face that future.

Who is willing to follow up and investigate this proposal? I trust there has to be several curious leaders out there that have the greater good at heart for the local Gibson County residents.

Bob Zasadny,

Oakland City

— Email Andrea Howe at andrea@pdclarion.com

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