I am a health-care professional and care deeply for the health and safety of our community. The Birch Solar farm is an opportunity for our community to produce emission free, clean energy—and do our part to protect public health.
There are people saying that solar panels will lead to water quality issues through leaching of chemicals. This is, in fact, false. Life cycle impact studies prove that metals do not leach from solar modules into our environment. However, if you’re interested in energy production that impacts drinking and ground water, look no further than oil and gas injection wells. Brine, polymers and carbon dioxide are injected into our earth—the byproduct of fracking. Just a couple weeks ago, frack waste was spewing from a gas well in Ohio—pooling and spraying—killing fish and who knows what else. Ohio has the distinction that a major Ohio utility had to buy a town because the coal plant was literally dropping a blue plume on its residents. Not to mention invasive mining, coal slurry ponds, and air quality concerns.
The Birch Solar project is low laying, emissions free, and the pollinator planting and proposed sheep farm will add to biodiversity.
There are also some who have blamed the Texas power outage on clean energy. Lightsource BP, the same company building Birch Solar, has a solar farm in Lamar County, and has continued to generate electricity throughout the recent storms in Texas. Even under cloudy skies due to the storms, the project is generating up to 80% of full capacity.
I encourage all my neighbors to trust science and the facts. Allen and Auglaize counties deserve a clean energy future.
Rae Neal, APRN