Tag Archives: Solar Siting Task Force

They paved (a tiny bit of) paradise and put up solar panels

VTDigger’s Friday feed is infected with a bit of uncharacteristic headline fearmongering.

HIGH SPACE DEMANDS FOR VERMONT’S FUTURE SOLAR FARMS IF ENERGY STAYS LOCAL

The story concerns a presentation to the Legislature’s Solar Siting Task Force by Asa Hopkins of the Public Service Department. And by “HIGH SPACE DEMANDS,” it means Hopkins’ estimate of between 8,000 and 13,000 acres of solar panels statewide. That’s assuming we are to meet our legally-mandated goal of 90% renewable energy by the year 2050.

Wow. That sounds like a lot of land.

Is it?

Not really. The state of Vermont has almost 6,000,000 acres. A conscientious reporter (or editor) might have thought to include that fact.

So, if you take the upper end of the estimate, solar panels would cover two-tenths of one percent of Vermont. (A conscientious headline writer might have asked whether “HIGH SPACE DEMANDS” is an accurate characterization.)

You know what? I’d take that, if it means getting 90% of our energy from local, renewable sources.

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