Opinion: Vote ‘yes’ on limiting solar fields
To the Editor:
2021 is the year when Wareham citizens will make multiple key decisions on the character of their town.
These decisions will impact everyday life for the foreseeable future. First came the huge turnout for the NOTOS “No” vote, which clearly communicated that quality of life and environmental health were important.
The Town Meeting and Special Town Meeting scheduled for 11:00 a.m. June 12th at the Decas School will present citizens with another critical decision: How will the continued installation of large scale industrial solar sites in Wareham be handled, or not.
How large should these sites be? (Massachusetts SMART programs limit the size to 50 acres to qualify for tax credits.) Where should these sites be located? How will they impact quality of life, neighborhood, environment, property values? Is there one coming to your backyard?
A little history: Wareham allowed its first solar field to be installed in the 2015 timeframe. To date, there are 19 industrial solar arrays installed. They range in size from 3 to 40 acres. Total land cleared for those projects is about 330 acres. For comparison, the solar site on Seth Tobey Road (near Walmart) is 12 acres of arrays built on a 16-acre lot.
Today there are 9 industrial solar site (sub-division) plans in Wareham’s approval pipeline, representing an additional 1,404 acres. This is the equivalent of 88 Seth Tobey sites!
Vote YES on ARTICLE 17 in the Special Town Meeting. It approves a critical by-law amendment that sets parameters to control the solar industry growth in Wareham, versus it controlling us.