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Opinion: Solar array a better choice than fracking for energy

I was raised in rural upstate New York and saw some of the problems that comewith fracking. As a result, I have a great appreciation for alternative, clean, renewable power, like solar power.
I’m not an engineer, but I try to see and think about what’s going onaround me. With fracking, the water being used is 4,000 feet down, but isn’t it still part of the hydraulic cycle? Someday it’ll be up here with our regular drinking water.
Even drilling test wells to look for gas cancause problems, such as the time a driller got his gear hung up 600 or 700 feet down. He tried using extremely high-pressure water to dislodge the obstruction. Instead, the pressure forced itself out through the fractures in the limestone shale formations. Homeowners’ wells became geysers. It was a mess, and it ruined the local drinking water supply.
My family and I all agree that solar is an important part of a clean energyfuture. We agreed that an unused portion of our property would be a great location for a Community Solar Array (CSA). We hope to help the environment, reduce our own carbon footprint and help others in our community, who may not be able to put solar panels on their property, do the same.  Having worked with SunCommon to develop a site plan while discussing it with my neighbors, I’m excited about the possibilities.
Currently, the site isinaccessible and not suitable for development or farming. I go out twice a year and brush hog it, but now SunCommon will take care of that. An important selling point for this installation is that there is no cement and minimal disruption to the land. The solar panels stand on posts driven into the soil. When the array has served its purpose, posts are simply pulled out and the field is right back to its original state.
In the greater scheme of things, I think of the Community Solar Array as ourcontribution to community in the environmental and ecological context of the word. Community is defined as “a group of interdependent plants and animals inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other through food and other relationships.” Rather than taking from our environment, solar energy innovation can better connect us with our natural world. It is about fostering possibilities and a brighter future. It is about contributing to community, in every sense of the word.
Frank Farnsworth, Brandon

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