Opinion: Residents should see benefits from solar farms

Aug 10, 2020

My name is Tom Quinn and my home abuts the first solar farm in North Dartmouth on Old Fall River Rd. This farm was forced upon the residents that live around the farm without any approval from them or any input.  

My neighbors and myself formed a group to protest the construction, because we were not even notified that they would build a massive solar farm 30 feet from my bedroom! I found out the day they started clearing the lot at 7 in the morning. Before that I had heard nothing, surprise!

The neighborhood group put together a protest and attended several town meetings to plead our case. At a special town meeting we presented our case with video and witnesses and the town voted for no more solar farms in residential areas and it passed unanimously. Now they are doing it again.

I’m all for alternative forms of energy and I happen to be a big fan of Solar Energy for 40 years. I met with the representatives of Con Edison several times and I asked how this would impact our electric bills, and would we see a reduction soon. They replied that we will not be seeing any of this electricity because it is going to New York and that our bill may even go up to help pay for the project.

The town gets taxes from all the solar sites in town but not one watt of electricity, what the heck? My utility bill has been going up every month a few bucks at a time for what? This month my Eversource bill stated that the Supply charge was $179.00 and the delivery was $201.00, from supplier Public Power LLC in Pinellas Park Florida. Where are the solar farms that the town is so eager to build and why don’t we get any benefits from the solar?

All this destruction of forests only destroys natural habitats for our local wildlife and does not benefit Dartmouth residents by offering lower electricity bills. These costs are out of control.

A new proposed solar farm will take 38 acres behind Autumn Glen Assisted Living on Cross Road. We will not benefit from the solar use of this additional plot of land, but we will have to live with it. The assisted living center will hate the noise that the construction will bring to a quiet neighborhood. I have sound and video of the project they built next door to my home if anyone would like to view it.

I am considering forming a group to try and force the State and Town to allow the residents to benefit from the thousands of acres that have been taken from the town to build solar farms to power some other state. I propose that a percentage of the solar power generated in town be used in the town, so everyone can benefit from what the town allowed to be built. Also stop putting the solar farms in residential areas, the town voted to prevent this and it appears that they are ignoring the law. Put the solar panels on the roof of the mall, but not in anyone’s back yard.

Tom and Barbara Quinn, Dartmouth