I was a little worried about John Sackett's letter about Solar.
John lived a great life and served this community very well. He taught school, served as a councilor, district legislature, and city overseer.
But I bet if you asked him what he is most proud of, his answer would be his family and his time as a farmer.
John has always been one of those who pushed his pennies hard when it came to government spending. He would always keep her on a rather tight belt. These solar projects are heavily subsidized by the government.
These subsidies are paid by taxpayers and energy consumers. I will guarantee you that the government will do its extra share.
The oldtimers have a saying that you can tell a farmer on the ground that he works. John happens to be blessed with pretty good soil and that makes him rich and it's something that money can't buy. The smaller solar projects like those on rooftops or side gardens fit well in a town like Byron, but the big ones like the Excelsior project, when you study it, make little sense for the following reasons.
Do they really have a positive impact on climate change? One hectare of maize converts eight tons of carbon dioxide into oxygen per year. America's corn harvest produces more oxygen than the Amazon. You'll need to put in massive transformers to boost the voltage high enough to keep the transmission lines on for shipping to New York City.
Excelsior refuses to answer how much force this will take but I would estimate between 10-15% of what they are doing. Countries like Germany have made great strides in solar energy; You won't see a single solar panel on prime farmland, however – they value their food supplies too much.
Food farming is one of the last things this country can export to help clear the massive trade imbalance. Agriculture is under attack under government mandates, and these large solar projects will put the financial health of all Americans at risk. I asked Excelsior for a business plan on how business will justify this project and they refused to respond.
If the government intervened in agriculture, it has just made massive failures. Twelve years ago they paid farmers to grow pastures to produce cellulosic energy. We never harvested a willow. Three years ago they paid us to grow hemp, it just destroyed the harvesting machines and the hemp ended up in landfills.
IDA gave millions of dollars to overseas companies to build two yogurt factories in Batavia, only to make them fail. The O-AT-KA facility required a $ 2 million electrical upgrade. IDA said no, the yogurt plants received the same upgrade for free.
I can't help but believe that these solar panels will be out of date before they are installed. I just hope John wouldn't kill the goose because the golden eggs won't last long.
These people will strip the topsoil, build gravel roads, and our prime farmland will never be the same again. Farming the land and caring for the animals is still the best way to raise a family in America.