Letter to the Editor — Buckingham solar is too risky

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, July 27, 2022

To the Editor:

The citizens of Buckingham due to the pending solar project will be faced with problems they have never seen before. It’s not just the obvious aesthetics of 2,000 plus acres of solar panels, and the likely erosion, run off into your streams and rivers that has happened in other counties. Nor will it be the frustration from the lack of prompt response by regulatory agencies to address complaints or lack of compliance due to their staff shortages. Then there is the short term construction that brings about its own set of issues — the issues of fire and contamination are major threats in a commercial setting.

As vast number of panels age and deteriorate from exposure, micro cracks occur from stress caused by freezing rain, snow, wind vortex flexing, heat, manufacturer soldering defects, thus letting moisture in. Moisture gets inside the panel and creates electrical arching combined with heat, most likely leading to a wildfire.

Buckingham’s fire protection is made up of four volunteer departments. Support staff are all volunteers, God bless them. Imagine if you will, potentially a 2,000 acre wildfire, volunteers responding with limited water reserve, the closest fire hydrants at Buckingham courthouse and Dillwyn, and the danger of personnel being exposed to going to extinguish fire in a high voltage area.

That’s not counting the fumes and gases bellowing into the air, nor the contaminates and heavy metals perking into the soil and flowing downstream.

This entire project seems to bring a high risk factor.

Harold Nicholas

Buckingham