Letter to the Editor: We don’t know what we don’t know

Published 10:02 am Saturday, March 9, 2024

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Dear Editor, 

First, let me say that I am not against solar energy; however, I am against solar energy panel farms in a residential area, mine or anyone else’s. There are plenty of open spaces in Prince Edward and the state of Virginia for these “farms” so they do not have to be in or adjacent to a residential area or subdivision. I live in Ridgeway II off of Old Ridge Road (630), where such a project is being planned. There will be no benefits for the residents in this area, but there will be much that we will have to endure as a result (loss of trees, wildlife habitats, run-off, higher temperatures, unwanted sounds, and the list goes on). No homes in the area will be served by the energy that is created.

Having said that, my concern is we do not know what we don’t know. There have been times in the past that we have believed that there would be no underlying or harmful consequences. Did you grow up in the ‘50’s, ‘60’s or ‘70’s? If so, many of you used suntan lotion…not sunscreen. We were told to get out in the sun; it helps the body produce vitamin D. Use the lotion to protect your skin and get a darker tan. We did it; we did not know better. Now many people (including myself) have skin cancer and have regular checkups to monitor the situation.

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Much research has been done concerning solar energy, but not enough research has been completed to make me feel comfortable with a project like this. We have lived in our home for 40 years, and we love the location of being in a natural environment and close to a business one. All the residents in our area are opposed to this project.

Once again, let me reiterate: “We don’t know what we don’t know.” There are other cases from the past with similar outcomes (Flint, Michigan, etc.). I don’t want to be a victim again. There is no reason for the solar energy farm to be placed in this area other than for a monetary gain (but not for its residents).

If you keep up with the news, you will see there is a movement to cover the state of Virginia with solar energy farms. What will be the cost, the risks? “We don’t know what we don’t know.”

Martha Womack