Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Add solar arrays to parking lots, not farm fields

I appreciate Bill McKibben’s guest editorial about the need for many more solar panels in Vermont in response to our climate emergency. In light of this climate emergency I would like to see some refinement on where these arrays are built.

Specifically I think our prime agricultural lands need to be preserved from all development including solar arrays. Promptly converting our electricity supply to clean sources is critical. Working to maintain a reliable food supply in the tenuous years ahead is also critical. We must do everything possible to nurture our best Champlain Valley soils, like our other natural resources they are irreplaceable.

A place that I would like to see solar arrays is on the hundreds of acres of parking lots. As in Route 7 South of Middlebury many of these parking lots are adjacent to large power lines well situated to transmit the solar generated electricity. The type of panels that are mounted on poles can be above the height of the parked cars not interfering with parking. The poles themselves can be placed between the rows of parked cars not reducing the parking capacity. Some consideration will need to be given as to how most efficiently to direct snow off the panels. In warm weather shade over the parked cars will be an advantage.

Timothy Fisher

Cornwall

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