I am actively against the Birch Solar Project proposed by Lightsource bp. They have been in secret negotiations with farmers in the region for over a year and promise multi-year multi-million contracts to rent productive farmland for industrial solar power generation. The public only became aware of this in the last few weeks.
BP is campaigning for reduced payments instead of taxes as part of a pilot program for the county and has made it clear how it is better for the county. If approved, the entire county, not just Shawnee and parts of County Auglaize, could be attacked for industrial solar projects. Amazingly, the final decision to start the project is not with our local government, but with the Ohio Power Siting Board in Columbus!
Falling real estate values, loss of agricultural land, destruction of drain tiles by heavy equipment that tied many homes to (Shawnee is the most densely populated area in Ohio), 10 foot fences, miles of fields covered with metal and glass in China ( yes, we can trust them), wildlife habitat destruction, unknown health consequences (how many times have we seen this situation?), history of broken promises by Lightsource bp, very little or no local consumption of the electricity produced, and all for eight to eight ten permanent positions! The temporary construction jobs are not filled by local workers, but by workers who are “resident in the area”, ie who rent them temporarily here. Where are you Bob Cupp and Matt Huffman? We voters need you. Join the fight, contribute, and research Against Birch Solar.
Dr. Michael Terveer,