A town in North Carolina has rejected a proposal for a solar farm after residents expressed fear and distrust of solar panels.
After numerous members of the public in Woodland, North Carolina, expressed their fear and mistrust of a proposal to allow Strata Solar Company to build a solar farm off Highway 258, the Woodland Town Council rejected a proposal to rezone a section of land, essentially denying approval of the solar farm.
During the public comment period preceding the rezoning vote that would allow for the solar farm, citizens expressed distrust and fear of the solar panels.
One resident, Bobby Mann, said that businesses would stop going to Woodland, and the community would suffer as a result, because the solar farms would suck up all the energy from the sun, according to the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald.
Adding insult to injury, a retired science teacher expressed concerns that plants in the vicinity of the panels would not be able to photosynthesize because of the drain on the sun, which would prevent the plants from growing.She also questioned the high number of cancer deaths in the area, saying no one could tell her that solar panels didn’t cause cancer.
Trying to assuage the irrational fears of citizens at the meeting, representatives from Strata addressed the council and citizens in attendance. One representative pointed out that the only sunlight the solar panels use to generate power is that which hits them directly, noting:
The panels don’t draw additional sunlight.
Strata representatives also noted:
There are no negative impacts. A solar farm is a wonderful use for a property like this.
There are no toxic materials on site. This is a tried and true technology.
Yet despite the proven science, the silly and irrational concerns of citizens prevailed, and not only was the solar farm blocked, but later the town council voted for a moratorium on all future solar farms.