I'm trying to find out what common questions and concerns people have about new solar farms, along with the answers available to address their concerns. This might be anything from the aesthetics and noise of solar arrays, to their impact on neighboring property values, to the effectiveness of solar power itself.
We're looking into building a solar farm here, and the idea is that (hopefully) my research will be able to help calm people's fears before they convince themselves and each other that this is a terrible idea. But in doing this research, I'm finding that there are way more questions out there than answers.
Photo courtesy of Virginia Energy Independence Alliance.
It's amazing to me that NIMBYism (Not In My Backyard) is able to win over the opportunity to develop a clean, renewable source of energy.
First of all, most of the concerns listed by neighbors are unfounded, for example people often bring up the worry that solar panels will be reflective and therefore blinding to drivers, when in fact the whole point of solar panels is to absorb the sun's energy, not reflect it, so the glare from these panels is quite minimal. And of the concerns that may have some validity, I don't think the subjective eyesore of a solar farm is enough to outweigh its benefits, such as energy independence and carbon-and pollution-free electricity.
Hopefully, by addressing these concerns upfront when people first learn about the proposed solar farm here, we'll be able to avoid being yet another local news story about a solar farm that never was.