Disappointed with board’s vote on solar farm

I am sincerely and deeply disappointment in the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors’ recent approval of the three massive industrial solar power facilities.

The performance of the BOS, with two very notable exceptions—Paul Trampe and David Ross—was pathetic. Trampe and Ross had the intelligence and integrity to vote no. Sadly, the others, with Livingston Supervisor Greg Benton in the lead, capitulated en masse.

The Planning Commission had the wisdom and intestinal fortitude to vote 5-2 against the largest part of the project, as well as recommend significant conditions and requirements. Sadly, the BOS apparently did not.

The primary mission of the sPower executives is to maximize their shareholders’ value; in other words, maximize corporate profits. The primary mission of the BOS should be to protect the long-term health and welfare of their county’s citizens, as well as the character and culture of our county. SPower was the clear winner, and our community is the loser.

Not one iota of the generated electricity will be utilized in or for Spotsylvania. Placing a facility of this immense magnitude immediately adjacent to thousands of our county residents without such restrictions as adequate setbacks and solar panel materials safeguards is blatantly irresponsible. Our county has now lost thousands of acres of agricultural-zoned land essentially forever!

Solar power is a fine idea on the roofs of residential and commercial buildings, on industrial paved surfaces, or in a desert. But destroying thousands of acres of trees, wildlife and agriculture and replacing them with vast industrial solar power arrays is hardly “clean” and non-polluting.

We’re all in favor of healthier air and water, but this surely isn’t the way to achieve it!

Fred Messing


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