A fairly large number of industrial scale solar operations are proposed in my area. It's a relatively new issue for this area and I'd be interested to hear comments on them.
Landowners are being offered significant rental rates if their land is close to a 3 phase or larger power line. In some cases, this is way more money than they could make farming or growing trees.
My concerns are:
- Most of the leases are being offered by a third party company, not the underlying utility.
- Industrial scale solar only makes sense economically for the utility company if the federal tax credits are in place.
- What happens at the end of 10 or 20 years when the project doesn't make sense? Can landowners afford to remove the equipment and clean the land up?
- Are we creating thousands of acres of future brown fields in rural areas?
I hope this generates some comments on both sides of the issue. I get that it's hard for landowners to turn down income. Most landowners are land poor and cash money is hard to come by.