Should Scott County allow community solar gardens on private rural properties as a permitted land use? If yes, what types of restrictions, if any, do you support to lessen impact to neighboring landowners and the community at large?
19 Registered Statements
Gary Schettl inside District1
April 14, 2015, 10:10 AM
I'm in favor of community solar gardens. Clean energy sources like solar are an important component to our clean energy future. Solar gardens offer an opportunity to support clean energy to people who don't own a home or land.
Steve Sazama inside District4
April 16, 2015, 10:41 AM
I fully support this and see the need for few, if any restrictions. In addition to the positive benefits of a clean energy source and potential job growth in MN, a fundamental benefit is reducing the dependence on fossil fuels, which are, by their definition, a finite energy source. Solar, for all intents and purposes to life on Earth, is an infinite energy source. To quote a fairly smart man named Thomas Edison, “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. I wish I had more years left.” Yes, whether it's solar, wind, water, fuel cells, nuclear, some other energy source, or, most likely, a combination of all of those, let's not wait until we burn all the oil and coal to figure it out.
Jason Richter inside District4
April 11, 2015, 7:18 PM
I am strongly for the development of solar gardens. I believe this is a great way to help ensure a cleaner environment for present and future generations living in Minnesota. Anyone who is opposed to this is self-centered and is certainly not concerned about our state's environment and future generations that will live here. Let's have solar gardens.
Tim Reckmeyer inside District4
April 11, 2015, 6:56 PM
I am all for Scott County allowing community solar gardens on private rural properties as a permitted land use. For those rural properties it provides them a secondary stream of income and moves us away from the dirty energy that pollutes our air and water. It'll create jobs and move us to a clean energy economy. By allowing solar gardens in Scott County we can keep more of our hard-earned dollars cycling through the state economy, providing an enormous economic boost and many development opportunities for our county.
April 15, 2015, 7:03 AM
I am for solar gardens once due diligence is completed. Who has responsibility for the full life cycle? Solar gardens are now possible due to technology. What happens when the technology changes again and the current solar gardens are no longer productive to the standards and no longer benefit the utilities. Now they are just disintegrating on the land and creating more problems. What are the expectations when it goes obsolete? Who has responsibility to remove and fully clean up the site to make it productive again. I believe the utility that gets the benefit of saying they have alternative energy using solar gardens should have the responsibility. Utilities have the expertise, not the private land owner. We need to protect the land owner who has agreed to let the utility use their land.
Joshua Smith inside District1
April 15, 2015, 6:48 AM
I support solar energy gardens, I think it would have many benefits. Since the government is already requiring power companies like Xcel energy to start using different energy sources it's helpful to start seeing solar energy sites and finding out if or how much they will benefit us. We're not used to seeing them in this area, in fact almost 100% of our power comes from coal. I have travelled to a few places like the U.S. virgin islands where solar power is on top of many roofs used to help power apartment buildings, restaurants, houses, etc... I see it as a start.
Allen Frechette inside District3
April 11, 2015, 1:59 PM
Community solar gardens are an awesome opportunity to be able to provide pollution free, carbon free electricity. Climate change is all too real! If you don't understand the need to reduce our nation's contribution of greenhouse gases to our atmosphere you must read the national climate assessment released last year by our nations top agencies and experts at: http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/
The underlying value of the land will dictate where these go as the cost for leasing or purchasing land will influence the cost of producing solar derived electricity. So, the concerns about displacing valuable farm land or developable land aren't real. Other factors include proximity to suitable transmission lines and sub-stations. Excellent locations for consideration would be on land that is not suitable for farming or municipal sewer and water extensions and there is such land south of Shakopee.
Community solar gardens will require a conditional use permit in cities or townships and conditions to ensure proper screening, erosion control and suitable vegetation are normal conditions, which can be enforced. I'd suggest that solar gardens be included as positive amenities for density credits for land development because they benefit society like parks and open spaces, by reducing air pollution and addressing climate change.
Volker Petersen outside Commissioner Districts
April 11, 2015, 12:30 PM
I fully support the use of private, rual properties for solar gardens. As for restrictions, it would be nice if property owner would have to provide a natural sight barrier such as a hedge. However, if such a restriction would significantly reduce the planed installations, I would forgo this restriction in favor of increaseing the installed base of solar gardens.
April 9, 2015, 9:28 PM
I'm all for it! To design limitations, it would be helpful to know what the potential drawbacks could likely be. I think renewable energy is a necessity and should be embraced. I can think of an 80+ acre site right now that would be a perfect location! This is a site which is attempting permission for a use (gravel mining and asphalt) whose potential operator has admitted it would cause water contamination. Switching that ill-thought plan to this one would be fantastic! I'd love to pursue this and look forward to hearing more on this topic in general, as well. Thanks!
April 15, 2015, 8:23 AM
Solar panels used in settings where the aesthetics are already lacking, where they do not pose a threat to habitat or economic development loss, and where they are under the overall maintenance and responsibility of the private owner are ideal in my opinion. To put in rural 20 acres plots of panels would negate all three of these things. You would have the aesthetic loss of looking at shiny metal all the time, habitat would be impeded and fragmented more than it already is in this county and having maintenance responsibilities lying on someone sitting at a desk watching graphs of electrical productivity who has never been to the site, doesn't know what the ground conditions look like or how it affects the surrounding area is a bad idea. Put solar panels in smart places: roof tops, both residential and commercial. Or go one step further and create rooftops out of solar panels for over the increasing number of transit parking lots. It would not deter from aesthetics, habitat or economic value, and it would provide additional protection to vehicles from fading due to sun damage, unfavorable precipitation and help keep them cooler in the summer shade.
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